Best Car Seat Covers: Our Picks

Here’s our article on the best car seat covers. One of the most stress-inducing scenarios is when your car is brand new (or, if second hand, new to you) and the interior is immaculate. You’re not going to be one of those people who treat the inside like a trash can – your vehicle is your home away from home, so you’re going to treat it as such. It’s going to stay pristine, you think. 

Of course this is not the case. It’s impossible to keep everything looking great all the time, especially the inside of your car – a space where you’ll spend most of your time. But you can do your best to keep it clean, and save money on frequent cleans and services. One such method is an investment in car seat covers. 

They’re quite cheap, so it might not be what you’d call an investment at all. However, you might not know which is the best car seat cover for you. The best car seat cover for dogs (if you’re a dog owner, or walker) might not be as effective for, say, sweaty clothes after a workout. 

The following list aims to help you decide on the best car seat cover for you. 

Leader Accessories Saddle Front Seat Covers

We will start with the basics. If you’re not an extreme sports athlete, traipsing mud and dirt everywhere, but just want to keep your seats clean, then these are probably your best bet. Leader Accessories is a reliable brand, and their fabric seat covers are both comfortable and practical. 

They’ll keep you warm in winter, and cool in the heat, as well as having a material and fit that won’t slide you around. As we’ve said, fabric covers won’t keep your car clean from copious amounts of dirt, but should manage the odd spillage, and a mild accumulation of dirt. 

They’re easy to fit, with a velcro strap, and are machine washable – so they’re ideal if you have dogs, and frequently need to wash your car seat cover. 

Leader Accessories Saddle Front Seat Covers

Plush Paws Products Hammock Car Seat Cover with Pet Harnesses

This is one specifically tailored for dog owners. If you’re wondering about the best car seat covers for dogs, this is the one we would recommend. What we like best about this, is that it will keep your dog safe because it doubles up as a harness. 

The polyester material isn’t only comfortable, but it is pretty much guaranteed to protect your seats from hair, fur, drool, and most dirt that might be picked up during walkies. This makeshift hammock is easy to install, too: elastic straps attach to both front and back headrests. 

Plush Paws Products Hammock Car Seat Cover with Pet Harnesses best car seat covers

Aully Park Waterproof Universal Car Seat Cover 

It’s obvious from its name: this is a cover for those who require a waterproof for more than just coffee spills. If you’re a fitness fanatic who drives home after a particularly sweaty workout, this car seat cover is for you. 

The Aully Park Waterproof cover is made from durable and comfortable polyester, with dual-layers and anti-skid protection. Only the headrest needs to be clipped into place, so it’s easily removable (if you don’t fancy the smell of sweat lingering around later!)

Aully Park Waterproof Universal Car Seat Cover 

Black Panther Car Seat Protectors

These are for slightly more luxurious and showy purposes, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t comfortable or practical too. Black Panther Car Seat Protectors have a classy looking diamond pattern design, made from polyurethane leather, and non-stick rubber on the other side. 

Unlike others, they don’t fully cover the seat – so they’re more like car seat protectors than covers per se. Thanks to this, however, they are compatible with any side airbag in your car. They also add a nifty pair of pockets for storage in your car. 

Installation is slightly more technical, with a buckle and elastic band for the headrest, and plastic buckles and metal hooks used to secure it to the seat itself. While this might be quite fidgety to remove all the time, it sure will look good on special occasions. 

Black Panther Car Seat Protectors

Summary

Regardless of your practical needs or aesthetic preferences, you should always make sure the seat cover fits before you buy it. While it’s true that most covers are designed to be a universal fit, this isn’t a guarantee that it will be perfect. It may cost more money to have a custom made one, but at least you won’t waste money buying one that doesn’t fit. 

We should also add that this list is limited to the best available option for the need you have. Also, you don’t have to stick to just one car seat cover. It’s perfectly acceptable to have a waterproof cover for after your gym workout, and change to a classy leather one for your date later that evening. There are hundreds of other options out there, so have fun with the interior decorating!

British Cars: Which Are The Best Cars Made In Britain?

British cars will go down in history as some of the most luxurious and innovative ever built.

While the British car industry was once on its knees, there seems to have been a renaissance in recent decades. Now, British automotive brands are thriving and have filled the market with homegrown cars.

We are taking a look at the top British car companies still around today.

Aston Martin

Aston Martin

Thanks to its association with a certain James Bond, Aston Martin has been recognised as one of the leading luxury car manufacturers in the world. Stretching back to the DB5, British luxury cars have a lot to thank Aston Martin for.

It has become synonymous with James Bond and Aston Martin even created a special film-only car just for the world-famous spy. That car was the Aston Martin DB10 and only 10 were ever built.

Aston Martin’s iconic logo is a pair of wings behind the brand’s name. The manufacturer’s history dates all the way back to the First World War and its most iconic vehicles are its grand tourers.

Some other famous Aston Martins throughout the years include the DB11, DBS V12, Vantage and the track-only Vulcan.

Jaguar

Jaguar

Not so long ago, Jaguar was in danger of joining the long list of classic British cars no longer in operation. Jaguar was doing little more than clinging to its existence after many years of poor sales. However, the manufacturer of British sports cars turned things around and is now thriving again.

Much of Jaguar’s automotive prowess has come from success on the racetrack but it doesn’t shy away from luxury cars either. Jaguar has also joined the fight to bring electric cars to the masses from an early stage.

The all-electric I-Pace from Jaguar is an industry-leading SUV. Other leading Jaguars include the legendary C-Type, E-Type and XJR.

Mini

Mini

The Mini was once the pride of Britain. Its iconic Mini Cooper was the small British car of small British cars. Driven by millions, perhaps the most famous owner of the Mini Cooper is Mr Bean but that doesn’t make the car company a joke.

There are many Mini Cooper car clubs around the country still keeping this iconic little car alive. Many thought Mini was dead and buried but it enjoyed a revival in the 2000s thanks to its new ownership.

BMW took over the production of Mini and introduced a larger, more modern version to the roads. The latest Mini has been a huge success and kept the spirit of the vintage Mini alive.

Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce

British car manufacturers don’t come much more high-end than Rolls-Royce. If the Queen is being driven around in one, you know it’s one of the most luxurious vehicles around.

Rolls-Royce has been in business since 1904 and it is still going strong today. Some of the most famous and luxurious Rolls-Royce cars include the Phantom and Silver collections as well as the Ghost.

Besides making cars, Rolls-Royce also supplies the engines to many of the world’s commercial airlines.

Vauxhall

Vauxhall

Vauxhall is arguably the most common of all British vehicles. In fact, there’s a good chance that any time you venture outside you will spot at least one Vauxhall on the road.

These cars are built to be affordable to the general public and many people have owned a Vauxhall as their first car. Some of the most iconic Vauxhalls include the Corsa, Astra, Nova and Cavallier.

Vauxhall is still going strong after first introducing its cars to the public in 1903. Although a popular brand in the UK, Vauxhall is known as Opel in Europe and is a part of Groupe PSA which also owns Peugeot and Citroen.

McLaren

McLaren

There aren’t many English cars with the racing prowess and reputation of McLaren. This British car brand is one of the most successful Formula 1 teams of all time and its road cars are not too shabby either.

McLaren brought the world the iconic F1, which was one of the first road-legal cars to be able to hit 200 mph.

Beautifully crafted luxury supercars is McLaren’s main aim while also introducing plenty of technical innovations to the automotive industry. That forward-thinking approach to car manufacturing is what helped put McLaren at the front of the Formula 1 grid more often than not.

Lotus

Lotus

Another British car manufacturer famed as much for its track success as its sporty road cars is Lotus. Lotus cars are built by hand and deliver high performance, often for much lower costs than many of its competitors.

Famous road-worthy Lotus models include the Elise, Exige and the iconic underwater Bond car, the Esprit. Lotus also was a major player in the Formula 1 world championship scene.

Under the racing name ‘Team Lotus’ the British manufacturer delivered seven constructor’s championships and six driver’s world championships. Visit any British car show and there’s a good chance you will see multiple Lotus cars proudly displayed by their owners.

Bentley

bentley

Bentley is a powerhouse in the luxury car market thanks to years of honing its craftsmanship. Some of the most famous Bentleys, owned by some hugely influential people, include the Continental GT, Mulsanne and Flying Spur.

It is the executive car of choice for the rich and powerful thanks to its capable engine and strong build. It’s hard not to feel safe and secure in a Bentley thanks to their large mass and refined interior.

Land Rover

Land Rover

Land Rover has been building rugged off-road capable vehicles since the 1940s. Used by farmers and those who don’t follow the beaten track for generations, Land Rover has since added a touch of class to its interior.

Nowadays Land Rover is known for being one of the most capable 4×4 vehicles around while also offering plenty of luxury to its passengers.

Perhaps the most iconic Land Rover of all time is the Defender, once driven by the Queen herself. Those buying a Land Rover today have the choice of something comfortable for the road or something rough and ready for just about anywhere else.

What Car Companies Are Still British Owned?

british car brands

Although Britain has a rich history in the automotive industry, manufacturing has advanced from when the UK’s car brands were building at home. Now, several of the big British car brands are owned by foreign companies, with some choosing to move manufacturing abroad.

Brands like Jaguar, Land Rover, and Mini are no longer British owned. BMW is now the owner of Mini, although there are plenty of Minis still being produced on UK shores.

Why Do British Cars Have The Steering Wheel On The Right Side?

right hand drive

Simply put, British cars have steering wheels on the right because of which side of the road we drive on. It’s the same for Japan, which is why Japan’s cars make great imports.

Equally, countries like America or Canada drive on the opposite side of the road so their steering wheels are also flipped. This allows drivers to see what’s going on ahead of them better than if their steering wheel was on the opposite side.

Financing British Cars With FairSquare

british cars

Here at FairSquare, we have thousands of British, and non-British, cars to choose from. We offer new and used cars of every make and model so you have plenty of options with us.

Our online-only dealership means you can browse our range of cars at your leisure while also applying for finance from the comfort of your sofa. Finance approval with FairSquare takes a matter of minutes and in no time you can be selecting your next car.

Ready For A New Car?

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Road Sign Meanings: Common And Obscure Road Sign Meanings

Road sign meanings need to be obvious as we often pass them in the blink of an eye. However, that’s not always the case and sometimes there are signs on the road that completely confuse us.

We know we are meant to know all of the road signs from the Highway Code but there are a lot of them. Some might argue there are too many to memorise. Perhaps that’s why you don’t need to 100% your theory test to pass it.

If you find yourself struggling with road sign meanings, then join the club! Discover in this guide what some of the most common and obscure road signs in the UK mean.

Road Sign Meanings

Knowing road signs and meanings is an important part of passing your theory test when learning to drive. Without this core understanding, you won’t be allowed to pass your test, so it’s important to know what you’re looking at.

Of course, having an understanding of the road signs will also ensure you are better prepared for any hazards on the road ahead. Let’s take a closer look at the UK’s road signs and what they mean.

National Speed Limit Applies

road sign meanings

This road sign means the national speed limit applies and it’s one of the most common on our roads. It typically means you will be able to drive at 60 or 70 mph depending on which part of the UK you are in.

For instance, Northern Ireland’s national speed limit is 60 mph. Drivers must adhere to the maximum speed limit and not exceed it.

While there is no minimum speed limit on these roads, driving too slowly is also a danger. National speed limit roads are typically fast-moving and a slow-moving vehicle can catch people out and cause accidents.

Road Narrows

road narrows

The road narrows sign meaning is relatively simple. It means the physical dimensions of the road are going to get narrower, either from both sides or just one.

A road narrows on the right sign means you should be aware of traffic entering your lane up ahead. Signs that indicate the road narrows on both sides mean both lanes should be aware of oncoming traffic and not drive too quickly.

No Entry

what does this road sign mean

The do not enter road sign meaning can also be understood to be a no-entry sign. This simply means there is no entry for any vehicular traffic. This could be because the road is one-way and you are likely to be heading towards oncoming traffic with nowhere to avoid it.

No entry signs are also commonly used in pedestrianised town centres to ensure the safety of those strolling about. Commonly, town centres have no entry for vehicles until a certain time of the day.

Falling Or Fallen Rocks

falling rocks sign

A triangle road sign’s meaning is commonly a warning. It often means a stop is coming up or there is a potential hazard shortly ahead.

These hazards might be a junction on the road, a double bend, or an uneven road. Or, like the road sign pictured means, falling or fallen rocks.

If you spot a triangular sign on the road ahead it’s best to slow down slightly in anticipation of what lies ahead. You may not know the exact meaning of the sign but as a rule, if it is the shape of a triangle you are approaching a potential hazard.

Quayside Or River Bank

road sign

What does this road sign mean? Like most other triangular signs, this is warning motorists of a hazard ahead but can you figure out what it means?

We have to admit we’ve not seen this one in the flesh before but it means there is a quayside or river bank to avoid. Although, you would like to think people wouldn’t drive straight into a body of water, clearly these signs are needed for a reason!

Emergency Diversion Route

diversion

Not all road signs and meanings can be obvious when taken out of context. For instance, you may have seen this sign before when being diverted, but on its own, it seems to be a confusing sign.

The idea behind signs like these is that you follow the symbol from the route you were diverted from to get back on track. They are commonly spotted on and around motorways. There may be more than one diversion on a road so it’s important to follow the circle, diamond, square or triangle that you started with.

No Overtaking

no overtaking sign

When understanding road signs and their meanings, it’s important to note that signs with red circles are mostly prohibitive. For instance, this sign means no overtaking.

Failing to understand that the red circle means don’t do something could result in a bad overtake on a road that isn’t suited to it. That would be dangerous to everyone involved.

Other common red circle signs include speed limit zones, access for certain vehicle types prohibited and no turning in certain directions.

No Vehicles Carrying Explosives

obscure road signs

Although most vehicles don’t carry explosives, this sign is clearly relevant in some places around the United Kingdom. These signs are commonly found in areas where vehicles often do carry explosives. You could expect to see them near munitions factories or military bases, for example.

No Stopping

no stopping

Similar to the no waiting sign, this no stopping sign is designed to keep traffic moving. It is commonly found in busy urban environments where traffic can build up in a matter of seconds.

The no waiting sign is a single slash in a red circle with a blue background, while no stopping has two slashes.

Ahead Only

ahead only

Unlike circular signs with red circles, blue circular signs with no red ring around them generally give positive instructions. This ‘ahead only’ sign indicates that you can and should continue heading in the direction you are travelling.

Other positive road signs include one-way, turn left or right, mini-roundabouts and cycles only.

As you can see, there are plenty of different road signs and meanings to learn for your theory test. Hopefully, you found this guide helpful and you learned something new!

If you didn’t find the sign that has been troubling you in this guide, GOV.UK offers even more road signs and meanings so check it out!

Car Finance With FairSquare

FairSquare logo

Before you head out onto the open road and test your sign knowledge, why not think about getting a new car with FairSquare? We have made car finance easy with a completely online experience.

From getting approved for car finance, no matter your credit rating, to choosing your dream car, it can all be done on our website. We work with an independent panel of lenders, meaning we find only the best and most competitive car finance deals.

Finance approval takes a matter of minutes, leaving you with the time and freedom to choose the best car for you. We will deliver your next car to your door so you can sit back and relax. Better yet, if you’re not completely satisfied with your new car we offer a 14-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked!

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Car Gifts: The Best Car Gift Ideas For Christmas

Finding the right car gifts for that special someone in your life can be tricky. Car gifts for him, her, or even uncle Bob can leave even the most decisive of people having second thoughts.

Well, worry no longer as we have come up with the top 10 Christmas car gifts for the festive season, and beyond!

1. Faraday Pouch For Keys

car gifts

Why not consider the gift of car security this year? Faraday pouches are ideal Christmas gifts for car guys because they stop thieves from stealing your car.

They work by blocking the signal sent from your keys to your car. This signal can be intercepted and hijacked by thieves, so a Faraday pouch ensures your car won’t be stolen from right under your nose.

2. Track Day

track day gift

Although the gift of a track day for a car lover isn’t the most original, it’s still going to be a hit. After all, as far as car enthusiast gifts go, a day at a race track ranks pretty highly.

The person you buy this for could be a frustrated petrol head who just doesn’t get the chance to put their foot down often enough. A day at a track in a sports car is just the tonic they have been looking for.

There are plenty of options in this department, from Ferrari track days to rally experiences, or even tank driving courses if you want to go left-field. With courses around the world offering track days to paying customers, you are only limited by your budget.

3. LEGO Lamborghini Sian 

LEGO Lamborghini Sian

Gifts for car lovers don’t come much better than giving them their very own Lamborghini Sian. Sure it’s not the real deal, but this LEGO set doesn’t come cheap and will certainly keep them entertained for a while.

The LEGO version of this supercar comes with 3696 pieces and an engine with movable pistons. It also features an intricate eight-speed working gearbox and the iconic Lamborghini scissor doors.

If the Lamborghini isn’t enough, LEGO has a wide range of real-life cars to build in miniature form for car lovers of all types.

4. Dash Cam

dashcam

Gifts for car guys don’t come more useful than a dashcam. There are many dash cams available on the market so you can’t really go wrong, especially as many of them are super cheap.

Dash cams are great for protecting your insurance claims as their footage can prove who was right or wrong in an incident.

They also act as a theft deterrent, especially if they can be accessed remotely. Not all dashcam brands offer this feature but some of the more advanced Garmin models do.

5. Gear Stick Bottle Stopper

gear stick bottle stopper

Broadly speaking, drinking and driving shouldn’t mix but we’ll make an exception for cool car gifts like this gear stick bottle stopper. This gift might be for the wine-loving petrol head in your life.

There is a choice of different gear sticks to suit the taste of your intended recipient. You can buy just one, or get a range to go for all wine types. Although not a main present, the gear stick bottle stopper is the ideal stocking filler for the people in your life who just love their wine and cars.

6. Driving Gloves

driving gloves

Car accessory gifts can be technical or they can be comforting, like a nice pair of driving gloves. In the winter, gripping onto the steering wheel can be a chore while the rest of the cabin gets up to a warm temperature.

We recommend some luxury driving gloves as a gift to someone who doesn’t have the benefit of a heated steering wheel. Which, let’s be honest, is quite a lot of people. As for which driving gloves to choose? Why not check out our driving glove guide for a better idea?

7. Tile Mate BlueTooth Keyring

Tile Mate BlueTooth Keyring

When it comes to gifts for new car owners, the Tile Mate BlueTooth keyring should be high up your list. This handy little device helps you find your keys through a smartphone app.

The tile can be attached to a set of keys and when they are lost they will emit a loud noise so they can be found in seconds. For new drivers who might not yet remember to keep their keys nearby, or those who simply keep forgetting where they put them; this is the perfect gift.

8. Car Wash Gift Card

car wash

Washing your car is a dirty job but somebody’s got to do it. If you have a car lover in the family who maybe doesn’t like getting their hands dirty then a car wash gift card is a great present for them.

Most car washes around the country will offer gift cards that can then be redeemed by the recipient. That means if someone goes too long between car washes they can use this gift to get into the habit of doing it more regularly.

9. Bond Cars: The Definitive History

bond car

Many car lovers find themselves drawn to the James Bond movie franchise for the array of cars alone. If you are looking for car gifts for men, then look no further than Bond Cars: The Definitive History.

This book is filled with iconic Bond cars and amazing photographs of each machine. It goes into great detail about the cars that featured in the iconic spy movies. There are also several insights from some of the cast and crew.

This book delves into the history of the Bond car but also looks at new cars. Some of those cars are from the latest movie, No Time To Die.

10. Gifting A Car

car gift

For that special someone, you could always really push the boat out and gift them a new car. Knowing how to gift a car is important to ensure the right documentation has been recorded.

You may wish to register the vehicle in your name and simply transfer the V5C logbook to them once the big reveal is done. This way the surprise won’t be ruined by the person you intend on gifting the car to getting any communications from dealerships or insurance companies.

Ready For A New Car?

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How To Park A Car: Driving Tips From FairSquare

Learning how to park a car is part of the driving test, but it’s not the main event. Most of us spend our time focusing on keeping the car going in a straight line on our tests and parking skills can fall by the wayside.

For anyone looking to refresh their parking skills then you are in the right place. We are going to go through some of the most common parking methods and help you make sure you’re doing it right.

If you’re unsure how to park a car before reading this, you’ll certainly be an expert afterwards. This is how to park a car step by step!

How To Park A Car

how to park a car

Let’s first start by looking at why being able to park in a variety of different methods. Not all car spaces are made equal, so knowing only one way of parking your car will restrict where you can leave it.

For instance, being able to drive into a parking bay is great at the supermarket but that won’t help you if you have to parallel park on the street at home.

New drivers must learn three different parking manoeuvres when learning to drive as they will be tested on at least one of them. The first parking manoeuvre is parallel parking, then it’s bay parking both forwards and in reverse.

Finally, drivers must also be able to pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse two car lengths and rejoin traffic. These manoeuvres aim to give drivers a well-rounded set of parking skills to set them up for the rest of their lives.

How To Parallel Park A Car

parallel parking

Let’s start our parking guide with what many believe to be the most difficult manoeuvre, parallel parking.

  • Finding a space large enough to fit your car into is the first thing you must do when parallel parking.
  • Once happy with the space, pull your car up alongside the car that is past the space.
  • Match your rear wheels to the rear bumper of the car you are sitting beside.
  • Turn your steering wheel all the way to the left and begin reversing, slowly.
  • Once your front wheels are in line with the rear bumper of the car, straighten up your steering wheel.
  • Drive back a few more feet until the front of your car will clear the bumper of the one in front and lock your steering wheel to the right. This will swing your car back around the other way so keep doing this until it straightens up.
  • Once straight you will be quite close to the car at the rear of your parking space.
  • Now it’s a simple case of pulling your car forwards to create enough space to allow either car, or yourself, to easily leave the space.

We must add that throughout the parallel parking manoeuvre that it’s important to be checking your mirrors. Parallel parking most often takes place on the street, so there will be traffic moving around.

Make sure you have the time and space to stop at the beginning of your manoeuvre and always indicate. Without indicating other road users won’t know what you are doing. Remember; it’s better to be predictable when driving to help others avoid crashing into you.

How To Reverse Park A Car

reverse parking

After parallel parking, reverse parking your car into a bay is the next most difficult and arguably the most common manoeuvre we do in our cars. Parking bays are found all over the country, from the gym or leisure centre to the supermarket.

To pass your driving test, reverse bay parking must be done at a 45-degree angle, however, once you have passed your test this becomes much easier. You can swing your car around a little bit to make the parking angle much easier, provided there is no traffic on the other side of the road.

  • For the driving test reverse parking manoeuvre, the first thing you should do is position yourself with about a car’s width between you and the bay.
  • This will give you enough space to swing your car into the parking bay without damaging anyone’s car.
  • Pull your car forwards and line up the middle of your passenger door with the white line two along from where you wish to pull into.
  • Put your steering on full lock left and start moving the car slowly towards the bay.
  • Once your car is in the bay and parallel with the lines, straighten up your steering wheel.
  • Reverse further into the bay, using your wing mirrors as a guide to keep you straight.
  • When driving out of the bay, remember to keep your steering wheel straight until you have cleared the cars beside you.

How To Park A Car Uphill

hill parking

The principles of how to park a car on a hill are the same as they would be on level ground. Ensure there is enough space to complete your manoeuvre before beginning, and check your mirrors as you go. However, it is important to take extra care when parking a car on a hill.

Never forget to apply your handbrake or you will be chasing after your car in a matter of seconds! Gravity will be pulling your car downhill, after all.

The first thing is to park your car in either first or reverse gear, depending on which way it is facing. If you are facing uphill then park your car in first gear. 

On the other hand, if facing downhill, park your car in reverse. This is known as parking your car ‘in gear’ and it will prevent it from rolling should the brakes fail for any reason.

The other thing to park safely on a hill is to point your front wheels in the direction of the curb. This is so that if your car rolls down the hill, or is hit by another vehicle, it will bump the curb and remain where it is.

How To Park A Manual Car

gear stick

Whether you learn how to park in an automatic or manual car, the principle remains the same. You must switch from the forward gear to reverse as you shuffle back and forth. When operating a manual car we suggest only using first gear to perform a parking manoeuvre. Staying in first gear will give you better control.

Now that you know how to park perfectly, why not try your expert skills on a new or used car? At FairSquare we offer finance to customers of all credit ratings, even offering no deposit finance.

Our online dealership makes choosing your next car a breeze as the entire process can be done from your sofa. Once you have been approved for finance, and chosen your dream car, we will send it right to your door. You don’t have to lift another finger!

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Driving In The Rain: FairSquare’s Driving Tips

Driving in the rain is a tough task but living in the UK means we do it a lot. If you aren’t feeling too confident about your driving skills in the wet then fear not, we’ve got you covered!

We are going to explore some driving techniques and offer advice to make driving in the rain much easier.

For those long, wet winter months we will look at driving in rain safety and what’s the best way to drive when you can barely see out. Discover our wet driving tips!

When Driving In The Rain You Must…

driving in the rain

Like in many adverse weather conditions, the first question you should ask yourself is whether you need to make the journey or not. If it can wait, we suggest you wait for the weather to fair up. It’s one of the best and safest tips for driving in the rain!

If you must make the journey then do so carefully. Our first piece of advice for rain driving is to ensure that you drive at a safe speed. The moment a spot of rain drops from the sky, people tend to jump in their cars to travel.

That can mean that some drivers who normally wouldn’t be on the roads are sharing the streets with you. Just give everyone some extra room to go about their business in the wet.

A gap of around four seconds between you and the car ahead gives you plenty of thinking time. It might seem like you are giving too many people too much slack on the road but it’s better than the alternative, forcing them into a mistake.

Stopping distances are much longer in the wet, so tailgating someone is only going to end in disaster. If you find that someone is tailgating you, which, let’s be honest, happens a lot, just let them pass.

Maintaining Awareness In The Wet

rain puddle

Fighting with someone for a space on the road isn’t worth it anyway, but especially when one mistake could spell disaster in the wet. As well as driving slowly, we suggest that you avoid braking heavily to avoid skidding.

Ensuring there is a large enough gap between you and the car ahead means you are better prepared for what’s to come. Giving yourself time to stop is key to safe rain driving.

Driving assistance like adaptive cruise control is a joy but when the weather is bad it’s best to avoid it. Your cruise control doesn’t know it’s raining and your car may try accelerating through a puddle. This can make your wheels spin and make it more difficult to control your car.

Road Conditions When Driving In The Rain

wet road

Regularly check the condition of your car, it will make driving in all conditions much safer. For instance, keeping an eye on your tyre tread levels will let you know if a drive in the rain is unsafe or not.

Balding tyres will not have the grip level required to keep you on the road if things get hairy. Traction on a wet road is essential, and without it, you are simply asking for trouble. If a heavy downpour lasts for a prolonged period then the road conditions are going to be much worse.

What Is Aquaplaning?

aquaplaning

Make sure to look out for any standing water on the surface of the road and avoid, if possible. Hitting standing water at speed will cause your car to aquaplane. This means you will lose contact with the road and essentially be skidding for a second or two.

If you start to aquaplane then the best thing you can do is to take your foot off the accelerator. Avoid making any sudden turns or slamming on the brakes as this will only cause the situation to escalate.

Instead, gently steer your car in the direction it needs to go without jerking or panicking. Of course, this is easier said than done, especially if it has never happened to you before.

Water Hazards

flooded road

If there is moving water on the road ahead be very careful about driving through it. If you cannot see the road underneath we suggest backing away and finding a different route. The current may sweep your car away or it simply might flood your engine. Either situation isn’t one you want to find yourself in.

When driving through water hazards, check your brakes as soon as possible afterwards. This will give you an idea of how wet they are, and begin the process of heating them back up to work effectively.

If possible, try driving in another car’s tracks, as long as you don’t get too close. These tracks, just like in Formula 1, are where the most grip is on the road.

Driving In The Rain Safety Tips: Visibility

misty window

Having perspective while driving in the wet is essential. Just because you can see out of your car perfectly well doesn’t mean everyone else can, especially when it’s dark. Driving in the rain at night is not for the faint-hearted.

The windows of older cars tend to mist up when it’s raining outside. It’s a battle of the elements in older cars as the windows are steaming up but everyone inside is hot.

Familiarise yourself with how your heaters and the air conditioner works. If you have ever driven a rental car without doing these checks you will know how difficult it can be to figure things out in a pinch. Taking some time when you get a new car to understand how everything works will save you in an emergency.

Keep Your Car Well Maintained

window wiper

How effective wipers are and the way the rain drains from windows is another issue that can impair vision. Having your car regularly serviced should see your wiper blades replaced frequently.

If you don’t service your car regularly, we still recommend replacing the wiper blades as often as possible. If you notice that your wipers are smearing the water across your windshield then it’s time to buy some new blades.

Just as important as seeing out is, you should ensure that people can see you too. Even if it’s in the middle of the day we suggest turning your lights on in the rain to improve the chances of another motorist spotting you.

Water spray from lorries can be a real issue. Increase the rate at which your wipers are operating temporarily to ensure your vision remains clear. Try anticipating the spray from larger vehicles and flick the speed up just before the spray hits your windscreen.

Breaking Down In The Rain

Driving through water is common in rainy conditions and this can lead to a breakdown. If your car breaks down due to water entering the engine, try not to open the bonnet. Instead, call your recovery service and let them investigate the issue.

Getting the engine even wetter may prolong the breakdown or cause even more damage. This goes without saying but be aware of pedestrians.

When the weather is bad drivers must be on high alert, everything is a potential hazard. Pedestrians might not be wearing hi-vis clothing so pay extra attention when driving closely to pavements or crossings.

Driving Test In The Rain

wet driving skills

When we take our driving tests we are at the mercy of the elements. Some are fortunate enough to have clear skies but living in the UK means car driving in the rain is a real possibility.

If you do have to do your driving test in the rain we recommend taking extra care, as we would for non-test driving.

When driving in the rain, the road becomes most slippery so it’s important to remember your stopping distances increase and your visibility will get worse. Try asking your instructor to take you out on a rainy day before your test so you can go over some of the fundamentals.

Car Finance With FairSquare

FairSquare logo

Here at FairSquare, we like to think we offer car finance with a difference. Our online-only service allows us to pass the savings onto you, but that’s just for starters.

We work with a wide panel of independent lenders, which means we don’t have a partnership with anyone in particular. Unlike other dealerships, we find the best finance offer for you based on which lender has the best deal.

Our soft-search credit check won’t impact your rating and only takes a matter of minutes.

Ready For A New Car?

Check out new cars and used cars here to set the wheels in motion! Find your perfect car today…

What Is Horsepower? Horsepower Explained

What is horsepower is something many car buyers have been asking for years. Sure we all know it means something to do with the power of a car but do we really understand what it means?

If you are scratching your head wondering what horsepower means then do not fear, we have got you covered! Let’s take a closer look at what horsepower means for cars and how much is considered a good amount.

What Is Horsepower In Cars?

Horsepower

So, what does horsepower mean and what is good horsepower? Simply put, horsepower is the metric used to determine how powerful a car is.

The higher the horsepower, the more power an engine sends to a car’s wheels and the faster it will go. It stands to reason, then, that the higher the horsepower, the faster the car. However, horsepower isn’t the only thing that determines how fast a car can go.

Contributing factors like weight and aerodynamics will alter how fast a car can travel. Two cars with the same horsepower but different weights will accelerate at different speeds.

This is because it requires more power to make the heavier car go. Not everyone measures the power of their cars in the same way, with some preferring horsepower while others opting for torque or brake horsepower.

What Is 1 Horsepower?

steam engine

While we may have a better understanding of the term horsepower, what is one horsepower? Although it might seem like the obvious answer, one horsepower doesn’t equal the power of one horse.

In truth, horsepower is a measurement that was made up by steam engine revolutionary, James Watt. Watt wanted to compare the strength of his engines against a horse, as that is what previously did the work.

He decided that one horsepower was the same as the amount of energy a horse expended lifting 33,000 pounds a foot into the air in a minute. Although this isn’t exactly the most relatable measurement anymore, it’s easy to see why it caught on at the beginning of steam engine production.

How unrelatable horsepower is to the average consumer in today’s world is why there are multiple power measurements used in the automotive industry.

What Is Brake Horsepower?

engine

Although similar in name, brake horsepower and horsepower are different measurements. Horsepower simply measures how much power an engine produces.

Brake horsepower, on the other hand, only measures the power that reaches the wheels. This will always be less than the overall horsepower and the two terms are not interchangeable.

What Is The Difference Between Horsepower And Torque?

In a nutshell, torque is a method used to measure force. Conversely, horsepower measures how much power is being transferred from an engine to the wheels. To delve into what torque is a little more, it measures the rotational force that your engine produces at the crankshaft.

A crankshaft converts the force that your combustion engine creates into rotational movement. That movement is created by the pistons in the engine moving up and down through the connecting rod.

What Is The Highest Horsepower Car?

Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+

The current highest-powered car is the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ which produces 1,578 horsepower. However, there are many cars in the works looking to outperform this speedster.

The frontrunner for planned cars is the Aspark Owl, which proposes 1,985 hp and is expected to be released imminently.

What Is A Good Amount Of Horsepower For A Car?

what is one horsepower

Now that we know what the highest horsepower cars produce, we can look at what is a good amount of power for an average car. Most cars don’t need anywhere near as much power as a Bugatti or any other hypercar for that matter.

Some cars work just fine with less than 100 hp, as long as they are small and lightweight. For many drivers, a horsepower level of between 200 and 300 is the sweet spot. Anything less and a car might feel underpowered, although modern engines have found smart solutions to boost power.

Cars like Ford use EcoBoost technology that allows smaller-engined cars to perform better while producing fewer emissions. In truth, the best way to feel if a car has enough power for you or not is to take it on a test drive.

Once out on the road, you can feel for yourself if you are confident you can handle the car’s power level. Too little and it may struggle to pull away when you put your foot down, which can be a concern when driving on the motorway.

Equally, too much power can make a car hard to drive and unstable. Putting your foot down too quickly might result in wheel spin or the car jolting forwards.

Other Power Measurements For Cars

what is horsepower

Horsepower, brake horsepower and torque have been used as measurements for engine power for quite some time. However, things are changing in the automotive industry and a large part of that is down to the emergence of electric cars.

The EU’s preferred method of car power measurement is kilowatts. Roughly speaking, 75 kW is the equivalent of 100 hp. Kilowatts can be used to describe overall power output, and it is typically measured from the wheels or engine.

Most commonly, kW measurements are taken from the engine. Electrical power is most commonly measured in kW, so it makes sense that with the goal of all cars running on electric power that their output is measured this way.

This measurement is one that consumers already understand, so going forwards it’s likely to be the one that outlasts the rest. In Germany, the preferred power measurement is Pferdestrke, PS, which is nearly identical to horsepower.

Cars With FairSquare

FairSquare logo

Financing a car, no matter how much horsepower it has, couldn’t be easier with FairSquare. We have streamlined our car finance service to make it simple and transparent for all.

Our broad panel of lenders offer finance to customers of all credit ratings in a matter of minutes. Once you have been approved for our industry-leading car finance deal, it’s a simple case of finding whichever family, hatchback, or hybrid cars you like.

European Road Trip: Planning Your Next Continental Adventure

The European road trip has been on many people’s bucket lists for years. But is it still possible after Brexit and Covid? You have come to the right place to find out!

One of the great things about how close France is to the United Kingdom is how easy it is to hop into Europe. Many people have gone on European road trips over the years and it remains an option despite the Brexit complications.

We are going to look at how you can plan your next Europe road trip with the new Brexit rules in mind. Is it still possible to jump on the Euro Tunnel train and explore Europe in your car? Find out everything you need to know about your next European road trip!

Brexit Travel Rules For Cars

european road trip

Let’s kick this Europe road trip guide off with the biggest question, Brexit. UK citizens should have at least six months remaining on their passport before entering Europe. Other than Ireland, cars from the UK must identify themselves on European roads with a sticker.

GB stickers must now be changed to UK stickers, although if this is displayed on your number plate then it’s not an issue. If you are taking the family pet abroad you will need to apply for an EU Health Certificate. Previously this was a pet passport but now the certificate is the appropriate documentation.

Alongside this documentation, your pet must have been microchipped, been vaccinated against rabies, and given a worming tablet by a vet. These costs can quickly add up and bringing your pet on holiday can cost up to £300.

Drivers must also check which food and produce they are allowed to bring to Europe. Currently, meat products and dairy products are not allowed to be brought into the EU from the UK.

As things stand, tourists heading to the EU do not need a visa if their trip is shorter than 90 days.

Best European Road Trips With Family

Let’s look for some 1 week Europe road trip ideas, and beyond!

Disneyland, Paris

Disneyland, Paris

Where better to take the whole family than to the wonderful world of Disneyland Paris? There is something for everyone in the family here, especially the kids. What’s great about a trip to Disneyland is how you can fit it all into one weekend.

It’s a case of loading up the car on Friday evening or Saturday morning and hitting the road. For those who live in the south, it takes just a few hours to hit France and then the weekend is your own.

Those living further afield will spend longer driving through the UK roads but once you cross the Channel Disneyland isn’t far. It’s just a three-hour drive from Calais to Disneyland, and with Paris so close you can turn a weekend vacation into a week-long trip.

Finland

Finland

As Christmas approaches, one of the best European road trips is to Finland. Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to explore this picturesque country while taking a detour to visit Lapland.

During the summer months, Finland is awash with green and blue and it’s the best time to visit. You can visit the harbour town of Naantali, which is the birthplace of Moominworld.

Helsinki is a wonderful city to visit with the kids as you explore its sights. There are also plenty of waterways to explore as Finland is pockmarked with lakes.

Getting Lost On Road Trips Through Europe

GPS in car

Your best Europe road trip map no longer has to be a chore to figure out. These days, thanks to zero data roaming charges, our best map is the one in our phones.

Our smartphones and in-car GPS systems have the routes all figured out so getting lost abroad doesn’t have to be stressful. Instead, getting lost can be a part of the adventure as you may discover something totally unexpected along your mystery route.

Best Road Trips In Europe For Summer

Barcelona

For some, travelling to Europe means going a little further afield than just France. Not that there’s anything wrong with France, it’s just so close that some folks are already familiar with it.

Anyone looking to discover something new in their summer road trip might enjoy the Barcelona to Montpellier coastal route. Starting in Spain’s iconic city, Barcelona, road trippers can take the approximately six-hour journey along the Balearic Sea to Montpellier.

There’s no rush, however and there are plenty of stops along the way to extend your trip.

If you find that you’re having a wonderful time exploring this European coastline, why not go a little further to the wonderful French city of Marseille? It’s just a couple of hours down the road from Montpellier, and another famous landmark to tick off your list.

A Road Trip That’s Close To Home

Giant's Causeway

If you don’t fancy dealing with the issues of passports and border control, why not visit our neighbours across the Irish Sea? Ireland offers some of the most spectacular landscapes in all of Europe, and it’s just a stone’s throw away.

One of the best drives in Ireland, the Atlantic Drive, can be sampled in just a few hours or it can take you a week to do the 1500-mile West Coast. The rugged hills, stony villages and sandy beaches are just some of the sights you will see along the Atlantic Drive.

When you feel like you’ve been on the road too long, why not book yourself into a cosy pub for a sing-song? When it comes to the best budget road trip in Europe, those closest to home always offer the best value.

How Much Does A Road Trip Across Europe Cost?

road trip

Ultimately, you can spend as little or as much as you would like on a European road trip.

There are some costs that you can’t avoid, like crossing the border into Europe but apart from that, it depends on what type of trip you are looking for. And for how long you want to travel.

The costs of fuel are on the rise as we try to move towards renewable energy in the automotive industry. That means a road trip across Europe will be more expensive than it was in the past.

Depending on the route you take, you may encounter many toll roads which also increase the cost. However, for a family of four, you should estimate spending around £1,600 and £2,200 for a two week Euro road trip.

This price range factors in fuel, accommodation, food and tolls. With costs around £400-600 per person, this means a week-long road trip would be approximately half.

For just a few hundred pounds you can explore some of Europe’s oldest and greatest cities, which isn’t too bad at all!

Travel To Europe: Covid Rules

face mask

Many countries across the EU have opened their borders to foreign travel. However, before you travel you must check with the relevant country’s authorities about their regulations.

Most European road trips will start in France or the Netherlands, so you must check you are eligible for entry. Most countries will at least require visitors to show evidence of being double vaccinated.

Some countries will also require a negative Covid test, particularly if you have recently shown signs of infection. For specific country guidelines, check with the GOV.UK website and the travel board of the European states you intend to visit.

Financing Cars With FairSquare

FairSquare logo

If you have been inspired to go on a road trip in Europe, why not upgrade your car beforehand? Here at FairSquare, we offer car finance to all credit ratings.

Our soft-search credit check won’t impact your rating, so it won’t hurt to have a look at changing your car. If it’s a family trip across Europe you are considering then check out our family car section.

Our service is convenient to use as it can all be done from the comfort of your own home. Once approved for car finance, which takes a matter of minutes, you can take your time choosing your next car using our many search filters. That way you will find the perfect car for you!

Pothole Damage: What To Do With Pothole Damage To A Car

Pothole damage can be incredibly frustrating to deal with. After all, the roads are meant to be safe to drive on but often road users find their cars damaged by potholes.

We are taking a look at what to do when you suffer pothole damage and if you can make a claim. Avoiding potholes isn’t always possible so you may be entitled to some compensation if one damages your car or wheel.

Let’s discover more about pothole damage and if your insurance covers it.

What Are Potholes?

large pothole

First, let’s take a look at what potholes are and how they are caused. Anyone driving their car on Britain’s roads will have come across a pothole, they are everywhere. But what are they?

A pothole is a depression or crevice on the surface of a road often caused by heavy loads of traffic. Potholes begin to appear if there is water in the underlying soil structure of the road, which starts to crack the surface when driven over. This can happen more quickly if water also seeps through cracks in the road surface and freezes.

Potholes are most commonly found on tarmac roads, and once they appear they only get worse until they are repaired If left alone for too long, a pothole can become a seriously dangerous obstruction on the road.

Large potholes are capable of damaging our cars; they might damage the tyres, suspension or steering column. Suffering pothole damage to a car is frustrating because it can occur even at low speeds. But what can be done about it?

How Much Damage Do Potholes Do?

tyre damage

Potholes are tricky enough for car drivers but they are a different level of danger for cyclists. Even relatively minor potholes are a serious crash waiting to happen for a cyclist. Avoiding a pothole means swerving into the road further, which puts a cyclist at risk of being hit. 

However, choosing to ride over the pothole can crumple a bicycle wheel or puncture a tyre. Potholes may also damage the forks of a bicycle, which may throw the rider from their seat and into the road.

Research by the RAC has found that in 2021 pothole damage is 1.48 times more likely to lead to a breakdown compared to 2006. However, while alarming, this figure is down from an all-time high of 3.5 times as likely in 2010.

It seems that councils and road authorities are putting more investment into fixing potholes, but is that enough? Pothole damage is still a bugbear and it can end up costing drivers hundreds of pounds in repairs.

Can You Claim For Pothole Damage?

If you do suffer from pothole tyre damage, or there is any damage to cars from potholes, you may wish to be compensated.

Depending on what type of road, and which part of the UK you are in, you will have to find the correct authority to claim to. If you send your claim to the wrong place it may be delayed or not processed at all.

Here is a breakdown of the relevant authorities and road types:

  • A-road or motorway in England; contact Highways England
  • Motorway or major road in Scotland; contact Transport Scotland
  • Motorway or major road in Wales; contact Traffic Wales
  • Motorway or major road in N. Ireland; contact Department for Infrastructure
  • Any other road; contact the council that is responsible for the road

You can find the relevant council here on the GOV.UK website.

Whether you believe you will be compensated for damage or not, reporting a pothole is the responsible thing to do. Someone else further down the road might suffer worse damage or even an injury as a result of the pothole.

One easy way to report potholes is through the GOV.UK website portal.

How To Report A Pothole And Claim For Damage

pothole in road

The process for making a pothole damage claim isn’t black and white, unfortunately. Firstly, the pothole needs to be classified as a pothole by the relevant authority. Many councils classify a pothole as a hole measuring at least 40mm deep.

Damage caused by a pothole smaller than this may be difficult to claim compensation on. Once satisfied that the pothole meets the standard definition, you then need to prove that the damage was caused by the offending hole in the road.

As soon as possible, and when safe to do so, ensure you take a picture of the pothole for reference. However, remember that it is an offence to enter a motorway on foot so do not take pictures there.

If you have shelled out for repairs due to hitting a pothole you will want the highway authority to compensate you for your trouble. You can claim the damage was caused by the road authority’s negligence.

If the roads aren’t maintained correctly then a damage claim is well within your rights. For a claim to be successful the authority must have already been aware of the pothole. If they didn’t know about it, it’s hard for them to have repaired it already.

Does Insurance Cover Pothole Damage?

big pothole

You may see hitting a pothole as ‘not your fault’ but that’s not necessarily the view that insurance companies take. Many insurance companies will see you as at fault and therefore request that you pay your excess to repair pothole damage through their policy. 

Because of this, many motorists simply don’t bother to claim pothole damage through their insurance. Instead, the best approach is to seek compensation through the relevant highway authority.

How To Tell If A Pothole Damaged Your Car

pothole warning

If you are going to go to a highway authority seeking compensation then you must have proof a pothole caused the damage. After hitting a pothole you may notice your car vibrating more than usual or making a strange sound. Your car may also be pulling to one side.

Pull over as soon as it’s safe to do so and investigate your car. The above damage indicators could be a result of the pothole you just hit. Get this checked out by a garage or tyre specialist to see if the pothole has affected your car’s steering, tyre, or tracking.

Will The City Pay For Pothole Damage

pothole damage

If it’s possible to prove that the council or highway authority was at fault for the pothole damage to your car you can expect to win a claim. The cost to repair pothole damage to a car is commonly between £300 and £500 so expect your claim to be in this ballpark.

Once you have completed the repairs on your car make sure to retain all of the paperwork. With the paperwork in tow, and agreement from the garage that a pothole caused the damage, you have a good chance at success.

However, councils and authorities will fight most claims so you will have to be patient to succeed. Sometimes claims can take months to go through, so bide your time.

Car Finance With FairSquare

FairSquare logo

Here at FairSquare we want to make car finance as easy as possible. That is why we offer an online-only service, to save you time and money.

Without the need for a physical dealership we can pass on the savings of those overheads to you. Our service offers car finance to people of all credit ratings.

Not only do we offer guaranteed car finance, our soft-search credit check won’t impact your credit score. Once you have found the car of your dreams we will deliver it to your door.

Ready For A New Car?

Check out new cars and used cars here to set the wheels in motion! Find your perfect car today…

Best Car Gadgets: The Coolest Gadgets For Your Car

The best car gadgets fit seamlessly into our lives and make the driving experience better. With plenty of cool gadgets for your car to choose from, we thought we would put together a top 10 list.

Check out these new car gadgets that will make you want to stay in your car a little longer.

1. Android Auto

Android Auto

Let’s kick things off with one of the best car gadgets of 2020 and beyond. 

Android Auto connects your smartphone to your infotainment system so you can keep your focus on the road. It allows you to play your favourite tunes, hear your text messages and connect with Google Maps through your car.

What’s great about Android Auto is that even if your car doesn’t have a modern infotainment system you can still use it. Simply mount your smartphone to your windscreen or dash and enjoy all of the benefits, hands-free!

2. Handpresso Travel Coffee Maker

Handpresso

Many of us need a little caffeine kick to get us through those long, boring drives. If nothing but the smell of fresh coffee will do for you, then the Handpresso travel coffee maker might be your most important car gadget.

Using the 12V plug in your car, the Handpresso expertly brews a cup of coffee so you don’t have to find an overcrowded service station. They often only serve mediocre coffee at the services anyway but the Handpresso delivers a great brew.

Handpresso’s travel coffee maker uses Senseo-compatible pods to bring you 800ml of coffee in just four minutes.

3. Bewinner Portable WiFi For Travel

Bewinner Portable WiFi For Travel

Thanks to the awesomeness of the internet, we can’t go anywhere these days without it. When looking for car interior gadgets, especially for long road trips, then some portable WiFi is a must.

Our choice of portable WiFi devices is from Bewinner, which gives a powerful 4G connection to smartphones and laptops on the move. Fully charged, the WiFi is good for 6-7 hours, which is plenty of time to keep up with your work or watch the latest Netflix show.

This router can connect to a wide range of 4G frequencies, giving you a strong internet connection in many countries around the world.

4. Garmin Dash Cam 67W

Garmin Dash Cam 67W

When looking for high tech car gadgets, a dash cam should feature pretty highly on anyone’s list. Our pick of the dash cams is Garmin’s 67W camera. This compact dash cam is easy to use, and powerful, so you won’t miss a thing from your trip.

Dash cams are great for insurance claims to prove you weren’t at fault for any incidents on the road. They also work as theft prevention and this Garmin dash cam offers GPS tracking to give you added peace of mind.

5. Car Headrest Tablet Holder

Car Headrest Tablet Holder

Keeping the kids entertained on a long road trip is no easy feat but it can be made easier with technology. There are multiple car headrest tablet holders available on Amazon that will safely grip an electronic device and display it to rear passengers.

It’s an ideal solution to keep your children entertained by putting on a film for them to focus on. With the kids distracted, you can give the road your full attention to ensure you all make it to your destination in one piece.

6. Car Cleaning Putty

Ticarve Car Cleaning Putty

Car gadgets on Amazon are a-plenty but one of the best is car cleaning putty. If you’ve had the pleasure of cleaning out the inside of your car, then you’ll know that dust gets absolutely everywhere.

Trying to clean your air vents is particularly challenging but that’s where car cleaning putty comes to your rescue. We recommend Ticarve but, in truth, most brands will achieve similar results.

This tacky putty can be inserted into those difficult to reach nooks in your car and it will remove the majority of dirt and dust. The putty will fill those gaps and then when you pull it out it brings the dirt with it. Magical!

7. Wolfbox Mirror Dash Cam

Wolfbox Mirror Dash Cam

Many modern cars come with all kinds of driving assistance to make your job behind the wheel easier. However, not everyone can change their car the moment a new piece of technology comes out.

Some of us are still driving around in older models that don’t have the latest tech. That doesn’t mean we have to go without, though.

Thanks to companies like Wolfbox, you can install your very own parking assist camera in your car, even if it’s a golden oldie. The mirror camera allows you to see what’s behind your vehicle with greater accuracy than what’s displayed on your rearview.

Besides helping with parking, this camera also comes in handy by recording events on the road behind. This is particularly useful for insurance purposes.

8. ACECAR Dual System Heads Up Display

ACECAR Dual System Heads Up Display

If you want to feel like you’re driving in your very own Inspector Gadget car, then an aftermarket heads up display might be what you’re looking for. We have chosen the ACECAR Dual System as the best heads up display because it offers accurate and well-displayed data.

As it’s a dual system, the ACECAR uses GPS or your vehicle’s OBD2 port to give you the heads up readouts. You can customize your display from speed and RPM to speeding warnings and battery voltage.

Heads up displays allow us to keep our eyes on the road while still being able to check things like our speed without distraction.

9. Halmo Car Hand Gel Dispenser

Halmo Car Hand Gel Dispenser

The world is a very different place in 2021 than it was a couple of years ago. One of the biggest changes is our approach to health and hygiene following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hand gel has become part of our daily lives and the need to use it doesn’t stop when we get inside our cars. In truth, our cars are one of the places hand sanitiser is needed the most.

When driving to the supermarket, shops or work we need to apply some hand gel to keep the germs at bay. That’s why Halmo’s car hand gel dispenser is such a great option for modern drivers.

This hand gel dispenser fits neatly into your cup holder, allowing you to get a quick clean at your convenience. Halmo’s gel also works well for those in need of car camping gadgets. If you have been for a hike then you can quickly sanitise your hands without trying to find a public restroom.

10. Cooluli Cooler And Warmer

best car gadgets

Gadgets to keep the car cool in summer don’t come much better than your own drinks fridge. The Cooluli cooler uses your car’s 12V plug to keep a refreshing beverage on hand for those hot summer trips.

It’s ideal for long journeys to the beach where you’re exhausted from swimming in the sea and need a little boost. Besides keeping your drinks cool, the Cooluli cooler also acts as a warmer, so you can use it in the winter too.

It will keep your snacks warm or have a nice warm beverage waiting for you after a frosty walk in the woods.

Best Car Gadgets: Overview

FairSquare logo

Those were our picks for the best car gadgets around but there are plenty more to choose from. Speaking of choice, here at FairSquare we are dedicated to giving our customers plenty of options when financing a new or used car.

We offer finance for all credit ratings and even do zero deposit car finance. Our streamlined service means getting approval for finance takes a matter of minutes. 

Our soft-search credit check also won’t penalise you for being curious about qualifying for car finance. Once approved for finance, simply choose your car from the thousands we have in stock and we’ll do the rest.

We deliver your car to your door, so you can relax and put your feet up while you wait for your dream car to arrive!

Ready For A New Car?

Check out new cars and used cars here to set the wheels in motion! Find your perfect car today…

How To Drive In Snow: FairSquare’s Driving Tips

Knowing how to drive in snow isn’t something that comes to us naturally. If that sounds like you then you have come to the right place!

We are blessed in the United Kingdom to have four seasons that bring about very different weather. That can mean in the summer we are driving in 30-degree heat while in the winter it is below freezing and there is snow on the roads.

Most of the time, it’s either dry or wet but that’s about as extreme as our driving conditions get. However, once per year or so there is a sprinkling of snow on the ground and the roads become chaos.

Not many of us learn to drive in the snow so we thought we would take the time to give some driving in the snow advice.

How To Drive In Snow And Ice: Planning Your Journey

Snowy road

The roads are treacherous in snow and ice, so the first thing you should do is ask yourself if you really need to make the journey. After all, the best way to drive in the snow is to not drive at all!

If it’s not essential to travel we recommend staying where you are until the roads clear. However, staying put isn’t always an option and sometimes you have to hit the road in the worst driving conditions imaginable.

The first thing we suggest is that you leave yourself plenty of extra time. You will have to drive much slower in the snow and ice, which means your journey times will be extended.

We also suggest planning your route to use as much of the main highways and roads as possible. Side streets and country lanes can often be neglected in favour of busier roads so their conditions are the most extreme.

Check your fuel level and only set off on a journey if you have over a quarter of a tank. There are often unexpected delays during snowy conditions and running out of fuel isn’t going to be fun.

Lastly, ensure that you clear your car of snow from the windows, mirrors, lights and surface. You need to see as much as possible so ensure your windows have cleared on the inside before setting off. Drivers will want to know where you are at all times so ensure your lights are cleared of snow to make yourself seen.

How To Drive Safely In The Snow

Driving in snow

Stopping distances can be as much as 10 times longer when the roads are slippery so the first thing you must do behind the wheel is slow down. Driving in a higher gear than usual is the best way to prevent wheels from spinning in the snow.

If you are in too low a gear, your wheels may start spinning and rapidly pack the snow down underneath. It can be very difficult to get moving again once your wheels begin to spin. Drive slowly and try to avoid stopping as much as possible.

How To Drive Manual In Snow

gear stick

Driving a manual in the snow requires you to shift up at least one gear higher than normal. This prevents wheel spin and allows you to keep going without stopping.

The trickiest part of driving in the snow is at slower speeds as it requires a lower gear to get your wheels moving. However, the lower the gear the higher the chance of spinning out. If you do come to a stop, try setting off in second gear rather than first.

How To Drive An Automatic In Snow

Knowing how to drive an automatic car in the snow becomes easier when consulting your handbook. Here, you will discover if your car has a winter mode or if you need to shift to ‘2’ for slippery conditions.

The same principle for manual cars applies to automatics and you want your driving gear to be higher. This reduces the likelihood of wheel spin and increases the chances of getting to your destination safely.

How To Drive Uphill In Snow

snow driving

Hill starts aren’t easy at the best of times, let alone when the road surface is covered in snow or ice. The best way to drive uphill in the snow is slowly and with your focus on the cars ahead.

Give the car in front plenty of time and space to make it to the top of the hill before beginning your ascent. That way you won’t have to stop halfway up and risk sliding backwards or getting stuck.

How Fast To Drive In Snow

We recommend taking things very slowly in the snow. Driving too fast is one of the main causes of accidents in difficult conditions because stopping distances are so much longer. Give yourself plenty of time and space from the car in front to ensure you can stop or avoid them.

How To Drive In Snow Chains

tyre chains

While sometimes essential, unless the snow is very deep we don’t suggest using snow chains. The likelihood of damaging the road is high, so only use these chains if there is enough snow to prevent damage from occurring.

Make sure your chains are fixed to your wheels as per the instructions from the manufacturer. You don’t want them to fall off and get eaten up by your wheels as this will damage your car.

Like driving in snow with regular tyres, take your time when using snow chains. You will have more grip, but that doesn’t mean other cars will, so be cautious of other road users.

How To Pack Your Car For Winter Driving

Packed car boot

One of the most useful tools you can pack in your car is an ice-scraper. It will clear your windows of the worst bits of frost and allow your interior fans to clear the inside faster. Light is limited in winter, so it’s useful to bring a torch with you in the car.

You may get stranded somewhere so it’s important to have extra layers or a blanket to help keep you warm. An extra set of clothes and some sturdy footwear will also be required for the winter.

Waiting around for a recovery truck in the snow can take hours, especially as many other motorists are also getting stuck in the snow. Staying warm is essential.

We recommend keeping a snow shovel in your boot all year round. These are often foldable and tuck away neatly without taking up much space. However, if you find your wheels are spinning due to packed snow, digging underneath your tyres could set you free.

Any time you hit the road when the conditions are less than ideal we recommend bringing some basic supplies. Items like bottles of water and chocolate bars can help keep your energy up. This is especially true if you have to abandon your car and walk for miles.

Car Finance With FairSquare

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If you want to upgrade your car to something bigger or perhaps a 4×4, then why not finance a new car with FairSquare? Our online-only service allows you to choose your dream car from the comfort of your sofa.

In the time it takes to make a cup of coffee you could be approved for car finance through our panel of independent lenders. Then, it’s a case of choosing the car you want and relaxing as we deliver it right to your door.

While we hope you love your new car, if that’s not the case we offer a 14-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked.

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Apple CarPlay Vs Android Auto: Everything You Need To Know

Apple CarPlay Vs Android Auto is the latest quest for supremacy between two of the largest technology companies in the world. Tech giants have been locking horns for quite a few years now and the latest battleground is inside our cars.

Well, technically it’s our smartphones, but we’re discussing how Apple and Android devices perform in our cars. We will look at everything you need to know about these in-car features and where each one’s strengths lie.

What Are Apple CarPlay And Android Auto?

Apple CarPlay

Let’s first take a look at what Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are, shall we? The infotainment system in our cars is constantly improving and long gone are the days of nothing but the radio to keep you company.

Today, our cars can communicate with our smartphones to bring us a whole host of entertainment while we drive. Infotainment systems that come with our cars are already impressive but once connected to our smartphones they go up a level.

Two of the most common infotainment boosters are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. They pit two of the biggest tech companies in the world against each other; Apple Vs Google.

CarPlay and Auto offer what is known as a smartphone integration system. These systems project your smartphone’s apps to your car’s infotainment system in a safer way than using them through your phone.

This is also known as Apple CarPlay mirroring. With these systems operating you can access things like texts, music, navigation and calls from your phone with great ease. Both systems offer similar features, however, Apple CarPlay doesn’t work on Android devices and vice versa.

What Cars Support CarPlay and Auto?

CarPlay

Unless your car was manufactured before 2015 you should already be able to enjoy the benefits of these smartphone integration systems. Auto and CarPlay enabled vehicles are becoming more common on the roads and they are available on the new and used markets.

Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are connected to your infotainment system via USB ports or a wireless connection if your car supports it. Besides music and phone calls etc., other third-party apps may be available to use via CarPlay or Auto.

Your useful virtual assistants, Siri and Google Assistant, will also be on hand to help you control your infotainment system using your voice.

Will CarPlay Work With Android?

As mentioned previously, neither car support system will operate on the other. However, it is possible to use Google Maps through Apple CarPlay. While possible, Google Maps works far better and more intuitively on Android Auto.

There is no Android CarPlay app or any real support for Apple play for Android but that’s okay. They each work as designed for the appropriate phone with no issues.

Which Is Better?

Android Auto

By its nature, technology is always advancing which means the two in-car systems are constantly adapting to the demands of drivers. Apple CarPlay Vs Android Auto in 2019 and Apple CarPlay Vs Android Auto in 2020 already look very different to the latest updates on these systems.

One aspect that may sway drivers one way or the other is how easy it is to customize the display using Android Auto. Apple CarPlay’s interface is less fluid but still offers everything you could hope for.

Anyone using an older Android system might have to update their smartphone to get the latest version of Auto. Ultimately, the question of which is better comes down to personal preference. The largest determining factor, however, is which phone you prefer for your everyday life.

At the end of the day, these systems are support for your car’s infotainment but it’s not their main function. Smartphones do a lot already and whether you fall on the Apple or Android side of the fence you will find both are adequate integrated in-car systems.

Do You Need CarPlay Or Auto?

Auto

Although these are just some of the latest technologies available, they aren’t essential for enjoying your drive. In fact, many car manufacturers are concentrating on building their own integrated infotainment systems to compete with Apple and Google.

Connecting your smartphone to your infotainment system via BlueTooth was possible before Google and Apple came along. It still is possible to enjoy listening to your music and making phone calls without either system.

However, you are then at the mercy of the infotainment system in your car which can sometimes be a little clunky. Given that most smartphones operate using Apple or Android systems, and that these apps are free, it’s certainly worth giving them a shot. If you don’t like them then you don’t have to enable them and instead, you can just stick with your car’s standard infotainment.

Best Apps On CarPlay and Auto

Waze on Android Auto

The chances are that one of the main apps you will be using on either system is the Map function. While modern sat navs are great, and getting better, when it comes to real-time traffic information your smartphone generally has them beat.

This is because of apps like Waze, which collect data from its users to understand where traffic is slow and where it is moving freely. Using this information, the navigation app will divert you to a faster route before you get a hint of trouble on the road ahead.

Spotify, or some of its competitors like Tidal or Apple Music, will also be essential for many drivers. Using CarPlay or Auto, you can access your Spotify account with ease and find the tunes that will keep the road trip party going.

Social media and driving don’t usually mix well but thanks to the hands-free WhatsApp application you can stay in touch safely. Text messages are read out through Apple or Google CarPlay functions so you can keep your eyes on the road and your passengers safe.

New And Used Cars With FairSquare

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The cars with Apple CarPlay Vs Android Auto capability dilemma isn’t an issue for people buying new cars. In fact, many used cars post-2015 are also capable of using these in-car apps seamlessly.

Our used cars are no older than five years old, which means you are getting only the best second-hand cars on the market. We can offer great finance deals for customers of all credit ratings thanks to our panel of independent lenders.

To make life as easy as possible, we have committed to being an online-only dealership. This means we have less overheads than physical dealerships, allowing us to pass the savings onto you.

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Cheap Sports Cars: The Most Affordable Sports Cars

Finding cheap sports cars can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. These fun cars come at a premium because of the joy they bring to those who get behind the wheel.

When you think of a sports car owner you might imagine someone who appears to have a lot of money parking their car at a golf or country club. Sports cars were once reserved for the wealthy but times have changed.

There are many cheap sports cars in the UK available to buy so you don’t have to break the bank for some thrills. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your next car then why not explore our collection of the best looking affordable sports cars?

Let’s go bargain hunting for the best cheap sports cars in the UK!

Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang is one of the most iconic cars in history thanks to its starring role in the American muscle car revolution. Today it remains highly sought after even though it’s so affordable.

The Mustang can be bought for under £35,000 which is a great price considering the competition. For such a comparatively low price you get a lot of power under the bonnet thanks to the much-loved powertrain.

However, one of the reasons Mustangs aren’t so common in the UK is the price it costs to keep them in fuel. You might find yourself running to the petrol station more often than you’d like in a Mustang but some might argue it’s worth it for the fun factor.

Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5

As far as cheap and cheerful sports cars go, you could do a lot worse than the long-running Mazda MX-5. These cars were first introduced in 1989 which means they are ideal cheap sports cars under £5K. However, if you’d like something a little more modern, new MX-5s are reasonably priced too.

Retro car lovers can find cheap classic sports cars aplenty when they go searching for MX-5s from the ’80s and ’90s. For your money, you get a cosy two-seater that packs a lot into its small size.

Thanks to its lightweight chassis, the Mazda is fun to drive even though it often comes with a much smaller engine than most sports cars. A 2.0-litre MX-5 engine is still good for a 0-60mph time of just 6.6 seconds. From new, the Mazda MX-5 begins at under £30,000 but the real value here is in the used market.

Audi TT

Audi TT

The Audi TT caused a stir when it burst onto the scene in the 2000s and many years later it is still going strong. Thanks to its sound engineering by Audi, older models of the TT represent great value in the used car market.

Recent models are also available for a cut-price with reasonable offers around £18,000 typically enough to get a TT that’s a few years old onto your driveway. The Audi’s exterior screams sports car and its 180 hp engine offers plenty of thrills, going from 0-60 mph in just 6.9 seconds.

If you wish to splash a little more cash, a 2.0-litre version of the TT is available that adds an extra 50 hp. Not only does the TT look great but thanks to years of refinement it handles excellently too. The sporty car is nimble, goes exactly where you point it and is no slouch either.

Fiat Abarth 500

Fiat Abarth 500

If you’re looking for something affordable yet feels like it’s rocket-powered then the Fiat Abarth 500 cannot be overlooked. There isn’t much to this tiny little car except speed and agility.

Sports cars aren’t known for their practicality but, while small, the Fiat Abarth 500 fits plenty in. There is enough room for four and it’s ideal for getting around the tight roads and traffic-filled streets of busy cities and towns. Affordable and cheap sports cars don’t come much better than the lovable Fiat Abarth 500.

Subaru Impreza

Subaru Impreza

The Subaru Impreza has been a go-to for speed seekers for at least 20 years in the UK. While it doesn’t come with the luxury that one might expect with a luxury grand tourer from Ferrari, the Impreza offers plenty of excitement in its place.

There is a reason why the Subaru was such a success on the World Rally Championship circuit in the past, and that’s its versatility. Coming with Subaru’s legendary All-Wheel Drive system, the Impreza can handle anything you throw at it.

Thanks to the predictably dull British weather, many sports car enthusiasts don’t take their cars out in the wet. That’s not a problem for the Impreza which can handle a lot more than rain.

While modern versions of the Subaru have taken a more family-focused approach, there are still plenty of used Imprezas that will give any car a run for its money at the lights. As far as cheap Japanese sports cars go, there aren’t many better options than the much-loved Impreza.

Lotus Elise Sport

Lotus Elise Sport

The rest of the world might have a handle on cheap sporty looking cars, but British cars bring something different to the table. The Lotus Elise Sport is a super-lightweight sports car that is exceptionally fun to drive.

It’s ideal for taking to track days thanks to its racing-inspired design but it’s equally adept at handling the average UK road. The Elise Sport has been going strong for many years and its run is finally over as a production car in 2021.

Cheap sports cars for sale don’t come in much more exciting packages than the iconic Lotus Elise Sport.

Sports Cars With FairSquare

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You don’t have to know how to build a cheap sports car to get a good deal on something with style. There are bargains to be had on some of the most exciting cars around, you just need to know where to look.

If you’re in the market for a new car then why not consider finance with FairSquare? We offer finance to all credit ratings thanks to our panel of independent lenders.

Unlike many car dealerships, we don’t partner with just one finance company, which means we can find the best possible deal for you.

You can be approved of car finance in just a few minutes and find your next car all from the comfort of your own home. Then, once you’ve found your dream car you can sit back and wait while we deliver it right to your door.

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James Bond Car: The Most Iconic Cars Driven By Bond

There aren’t many more iconic movie vehicles around than the James Bond car. Britain’s favourite spy has driven some of the best cars in history, and we’re a little envious.

If you are wondering what car does James Bond drive in ‘Goldfinger’ then we’ve got you covered. To celebrate the successful release of James Bond’s latest film ‘No Time To Die’, we’re taking a closer look at some of his best cars

Discover the best cars driven by James Bond throughout his almost 60 years on our screens.

Lotus Esprit

James Bond car

While Bond is famed for driving Aston Martins, perhaps his most memorable car is the Lotus Esprit. Often known as the James Bond underwater car, this Lotus was spotted in ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ in 1977.

From the moment it hit our screens the James Bond submarine car was an instant classic. As Bond tries his best to evade his foes, including the terrifying Jaws, he drives his Esprit straight into the water.

Looking like a mistake, Bond surprises us all as he flips a few switches that convert his road-worthy Lotus into an underwater vehicle.

Aston Martin DB5

Sean Connery as Bond

Perhaps the most-loved movie car of all time, this Aston Martin is like the Swiss Army Knife of cars. It is the ultimate ‘spymobile’ as it came equipped with a tonne of useful gadgets to allow Bond a quick escape.

After first appearing in ‘Goldfinger’, the DB5 would come back to assist Bond throughout the years. It was also seen in ‘Goldeneye’ in 1995, ‘Casino Royale’ in 2006, and the most recent ‘No Time To Die’ in 2021.

In total, the DB5 has featured in eight Bond movies, making it the most-used by the British spy. Some of the gadgets include; rotating number plates, passenger ejector seat, oil slick deployment, smoke screen and front-loaded machine guns.

BMW 750iL

BMW 750iL

Before driverless cars became a thing, the closest we had was this BMW 750iL from ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’.

We get to see the full repertoire of the BMW’s arsenal, including the moment when Bond controls it via his mobile phone.

Considering it looks like the car of a banker, the 750iL is stuffed with iconic gadgets.

Bond’s car comes equipped with roof-mounted missiles, tyre spikes, bulletproof windows and electrifying door handles.

Sunbeam Alpine Series II

Sunbeam Alpine Series II Bond

While all James Bond cars have their charms, it’s hard to overlook the appeal of the spy’s first on-screen car. The 1961 Sunbeam is controlled by Sean Connery as he’s chased through the treacherous cliffs by the villains of ‘Dr. No’.

Budgets were tight and to save the pennies, a local car was sourced to avoid import costs. As filming was taking place in Jamaica, it was a long way to ship Bond’s famed Aston Martin, so the Sunbeam got the spotlight.

Bond evaded his foes in the Sunbeam without the latest gadgetry, showcasing his skills as a spy and overcoming the odds. This would set the tone for many Bond movies that highlighted his resourcefulness in the face of peril.

Renault 11

Renault 11

No James Bond cars list would be complete without something a little left-field. Bond has driven plenty of exotic cars over the years but he’s not too proud to ride in something unconventional if the need arises.

On the streets of Paris in ‘A View To A Kill’, Bond hijacks a Renault taxi and puts it through its paces. This car would become iconic as a Bond vehicle due to its resilience more so than its looks.

As Bond scrapes his way through the Parisian traffic, his Renault first loses its roof and later the entire back half. That’s not enough to stop Bond, however, as he drives the front half of the taxi far enough to escape without so much as a scratch on him. Classic Bond!

Other than the Renault, some of the most unusual cars Bond has driven include a 1957 Ford Fairlane, Bajaj RE (Tuk Tuk), Citroen 2CV and 1935 Bentley Mark IV.

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante

Any Aston Martin James Bond car is a classic but the V8 Vantage Volante stands out from the crowd. It featured in 1987’s ‘The Living Daylights’ and the franchise didn’t skimp on the gadgets. And we’re not just talking about the infotainment system!

Aston Martin had been absent from Bond movies for too long so in 1987 it was all about excess. Driven by Timothy Dalton as Bond, this car included missiles, lasers, tyre spikes, bulletproof glass, a rocket booster and even a self-destruct button.

What Car Does James Bond Drive In Spectre?

Aston Martin DB10

There have been many special edition vehicles solely produced for the James Bond movie franchise. One such car is the Aston Martin DB10, which is a bespoke car designed purely for the films.

It featured in 2015’s ‘Spectre’ and for the first time in history, Aston Martin had built a car solely for Bond. Although it might seem like a follow-on from the DB9, the ’10’ referred to how many were produced.

Just 10 DB10s were built by Aston Martin and no more. It’s pretty much the car that money won’t buy because finding one for sale is almost impossible.

Eight of the 10 were used in the movie, and one of the remaining two was auctioned off for charity. Somewhere out there a DB10 can be bought but good luck getting your hands on it!

How To Buy Your Very Own James Bond Car

Bond car

James Bond is living the high life. He travels the world, visiting its most exotic locations and he’s never short of any excitement. Bond meets some of the most beautiful women in the world and he gets to drive the best cars.

We can’t blame anyone looking to grab a little slice of that action for themselves. Unfortunately, living life in the fast lane isn’t always possible for us mere mortals. However, there is a way you can have your very own James Bond car collection.

We’re talking Corgi James Bond cars and Lego James Bond cars! Sure, you can’t drive them but these replicas can be proudly displayed for all to see. Collectors can fetch a handsome sum for mint-condition Bond toys so if you have any in the attic it’s worth getting them valued.

Car Finance From FairSquare

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Choosing a car from his collection must be a tough ask for James Bond. Which car does James Bond drive to the shops when he’s doing his groceries and which does he take on an off-road adventure?

Choosing a car with FairSquare is easier than picking your favourite Bond car! We have an extensive collection of new and used cars to suit your needs. You can browse family, city, or hybrid cars.

Our streamlined service is online only and you can be approved of car finance in a matter of minutes. We like to think that by making the finance part of purchasing a new car easier you can dedicate more time to choosing your vehicle.

Once you’ve been approved for finance we will deliver your next car to your door so you can just relax and let us take care of it!

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Smart Motorway Guide: Everything You Need To Know

The more time you spend on the road the more likely it is you will come across a smart motorway. But what’s a smart motorway anyway?

We are taking a closer look at what makes a motorway smart, why they are being used and whether they are safe or not. Discover the pros and cons of smart motorways and where you can find them across the country.

What Is A Smart Motorway?

smart motorway

Let’s start by establishing what a smart motorway is. Smart motorways are a recent development on our highways that are actively managed to control the traffic levels.

These motorways respond in real-time to ensure that traffic is always moving where there is congestion. They also manage the flow of traffic whenever there are accidents, emergencies and roadworks.

Drivers on smart motorways will notice the speed limits changing at various intervals but that their time sitting stationary is greatly reduced, or non-existent.

How Do Smart Motorways Work?

Motorway sign

Years ago we just accepted that sitting in the occasional traffic jam was part and parcel of the driving experience. Motorways allow us to travel the length and breadth of the country in record time but sometimes accidents happen.

That used to mean delays of several hours but with the introduction of smart motorways, the hopes are that those days are over.

Smart motorways have been around since 2006 and they differ from regular motorways in a few ways. Firstly, they are monitored using traffic cameras, radar and sensors to keep an eye on the traffic.

These motorways will commonly introduce speed restrictions or lane closures should there be an accident or congestion.

Drivers are given plenty of advanced warnings about issues on the road ahead with large, changeable signs. This allows us to divert off the motorway to avoid it, or for us to slow down and allow the traffic calming techniques to do their thing.

How Do Smart Motorways Prevent Traffic Bunching?

traffic jam on motorway

Variable speed limits are used as traffic calming measures to ensure that things don’t get bunched up. If you think about it, before smart motorways we would be tearing towards an accident at 70mph without a clue about what was ahead.

Considering how many cars there are on the motorway, everyone racing towards an accident causes the traffic to bunch up. With smart motorways, the idea is to slow the traffic down well before the accident or congestion area.

As drivers are taking their time to approach the slow area, it gives those at the scene more time to clear it. Smart motorway speed cameras will change to whatever the signed speed limit is so don’t assume you can blast through at 70mph while everyone else is driving slowly.

Pros And Cons Of Smart Motorways

motorway at night

Pros

  • Traffic keeps moving
  • Prevent traffic bunching
  • Smart motorway signs manage traffic flow

Cons

  • Considered unsafe
  • Confusing for many people
  • Cameras can take too long to find breakdowns
  • Waiting in live lanes is a huge risk

Are Smart Motorways Safe?

driving safety

One big criticism about smart motorways is how unsafe they are. Often, at times of increased traffic, the hard shoulder is used as an extra lane of traffic. This means that if drivers break down or have an accident there is nowhere for them to safely stop.

We are reliant on the smart motorway cameras picking up our trouble and slowing the traffic down. The lack of a hard shoulder also requires other drivers to take evasive action should there be an obstruction on the road.

Smart motorway deaths, so far, suggest they are more unsafe than regular motorways with hard shoulders. Something as relatively simple as a flat tyre can, and have, cost drivers their lives. This is because they have to effectively park their car in the way of 70mph traffic and cross their fingers they don’t get hit.

Stationary cars are at a higher risk of being hit by moving vehicles on smart motorways.

Moving vehicles, on the other hand, are believed to be less likely to be involved in an accident on a smart motorway. With many cars now offering driver assistance like adaptive cruise control, driver error is becoming a less common accident cause.

Breaking Down On A Smart Motorway

breakdown

If you break down on a smart motorway, try your best to get off the road. If your car will take you far enough then head to the nearest exit. Some smart motorways do still have a hard shoulder so, if possible, use it.

With a lack of hard shoulder, the next best alternative is an emergency refuge area. If you can stop your car outside of a live lane then ensure you get out, via the passenger side, and cross the protective barrier.

Once over the barrier, walk beyond the rear of your car and as far away from the road as possible.

If there is no hard shoulder or emergency refuge area, you may have little choice but to stop in a live lane. If that is the case, remain in your car with your seatbelt on and immediately call 999 so they can stop the traffic.

Do not get out of your car if you stop in a live lane. It will take the impact of being hit much better than you can.

Where Are The Smart Motorways In The UK?

searching for something

One of the main reasons smart motorways are so popular is the costs involved. By opening up the hard shoulder to traffic, Highways England doesn’t have to spend as much money expanding the motorways.

They are ever-increasing and the chances are there is a smart motorway near you. Many motorways in England offer some level of ‘smartness’ with all-lanes running one the M1, M3, M4 and M5.

The M4 smart motorway is planning to expand its all-lanes running services in the coming years, as are many others. The Gov.uk website offers a map of all smart motorways in the UK for those looking to see the latest developments near them.

Buying A New Car With FairSquare

FairSquare logo

Here at FairSquare, we want to make car finance as easy as possible for our customers. We offer car finance for all credit ratings and our independent panel of lenders will strive to find the best deal for you.

Our online-only streamlined service allows us to pass the savings of avoiding a physical dealership to you. What’s more, you can find your next car and be approved for car finance all from the comfort of your own home. Then you can sit back and let us take over as we will transport your next car directly to your door.

Ready For A New Car?

Check out new cars and used cars here to set the wheels in motion! Find your perfect car today…

What Is Leasing? FairSquare’s Guide To Leasing A Car

What is leasing? It’s a question many thinking about buying a new car often think about. We’re going to take a closer look at this finance option and why it may, or may not, be the finance plan for you!

Buying a new car is often exciting and full of new possibilities. You might be dreaming of a car that is a little out of your price range if you were to pay in full. 

Is there a way to fund the car of your dreams if the price tag is a little too high? You might have heard about dealerships or websites with leasing options that offer such an alternative.

If you’ve never bought a new car before you might not understand what this means or what your options are. You might even have bought a new car before but want to find out more about leasing and your options. 

Together, we’ll cover things like what is leasing a car, what is the difference between leasing and financing a car, and what credit score is needed to lease a car.

What Is Car Leasing And What Is A Leased Vehicle?

car dealership

If you haven’t done it before you might be wondering, “What is leasing a car?”. Leasing a car can be thought of as similar to renting.

If you’ve rented a house before, the process is similar; you pay a deposit and then get to use the house for a set fee every month. When your contract is finished the house goes back to the owner. Swap ‘house’ for ‘car’ and that’s essentially how car leasing works too!

If you’re looking for something more specific, car leasing usually requires you to agree on how many miles you’re going to drive each year. With your mileage plan in place, you pay one big upfront payment and then a smaller payment each month.

If you damage anything/change anything/drive more than agreed, you’ll face some penalty charges. A leased vehicle is one you don’t own outright but you’re paying to use. You might get the option to buy it once your contract is over, but it depends on the deal you agreed to. 

What Is A Lease Agreement?

Online car finance

Usually, your lease agreement will be with a finance company, but it can be directly from the manufacturer of the car too. It used to be that all car leases would be arranged through dealerships, but nowadays it’s far more common for providers to work online (like FairSquare!).

The price offered comes down to factors like the make and model you want to drive. Other factors like how many miles you think you’ll do, and how long you want to use the car also determine the price.

It’s really important to remember that the car is always the property of the finance company. Since new cars depreciate quite quickly, the car will be worth less when you return it to them. They’ll usually sell it on after it’s returned, so you might have the option to buy when it’s worth less. 

The lease agreement is an agreement between you and the company that owns the car. It will cover all the important things you’ll need to know. You must read the agreement carefully otherwise there is a chance you’ll encounter unexpected charges.

What Credit Score Is Needed To Lease A Car?

Saving money

The typical minimum credit score you’ll need to lease a car from dealerships is around 620. However, you’ll probably want a higher one to get a better deal. You should probably aim for something between 680 and 739. 

If your credit score is not looking so great don’t worry too much – even if your score is below 660 there is still a 22% chance that you will be accepted. Before you start to shop around it’s worth trying to build your credit score. Try to pay off anything that’s bringing it down and make sure to check it frequently.

What Is A Guarantor On A Lease?

finance deal

If you’ve rented property as a student, then you might have had to use a guarantor for your tenancy agreement. It’s pretty much the same for a car lease agreement. If you haven’t had one before not to worry – it can be explained quite simply. 

A guarantor is a third party who agrees to be responsible for your car finance payments if you miss them. Usually, a guarantor will be a family member with a strong credit score/file. They usually shouldn’t be linked to you financially such as a spouse.

Having a guarantor can make you more attractive to finance companies if you don’t have a great credit history. However, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll be approved for finance. You may find it remains difficult to get a company to let you use a guarantor.

What Is The Difference Between Leasing And Financing A Car?

Car dealership

Sometimes it can seem like the two terms are used interchangeably which could lead you to wonder, “What is the difference between lease and finance?”.

So, what is finance then? If you were to finance your new car, you would be borrowing the money to buy it. You’d then pay regular payments to the lending company. Unlike leasing, you own the car even whilst you’re paying off the loan.

You should bear in mind that if you miss payments the lending company will try to repossess the car to make up for your missed payments. The most important difference between the two is who owns the car – with financing you own it and with leasing the company owns it. 

What Is The Residual Value Of A Leased Vehicle?

old car

The residual value, sometimes called salvage value, is the estimated value of what your car will be worth when your lease is finished. Generally speaking, the longer your contract, the less the car will be worth afterwards. 

The residual value will be determined by a few things such as the past models, future predictions, interest rate and tax. The residual value will also be used as a factor in working out the monthly car lease payments.

What Is The Cheapest Car To Lease?

The cheapest car to lease will change each year so, as usual, the best advice is to shop around and keep an eye on deals. At FairSquare, we have plenty of leasing options for you to peruse from the comfort of your sofa. 

Our Final Thoughts…

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If you’ve decided that leasing is the right option for you, why not check out our leasing options? You can sort through by make, model, and monthly budget so you can find something that works for you.

Even if you’ve decided you don’t want to lease, we have financing options and plenty of new and used cars to choose from. So, what are you waiting for? We are your one-stop shop for finding your next car.

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Best Convertible Cars: Our Top 10 Convertibles On The Market

Are you looking for the best convertible cars around? Then look no further than our top 10 guide of soft-top cars!

Owning a convertible is the ultimate dream for many car-lovers. The ability to put the top down and feel the wind in your hair is one of the purest experiences a driver can have. For this reason, it’s not hard to see why so many people target these cars. 

Fortunately for mainstream drivers, more and more affordable convertibles have hit the market. Despite their lower price tags, these affordable convertibles maintain the same elegance that their predecessors had.

With so many options to choose from, how can you pick the convertible that is right for you? That’s where our handy top 10 guide comes in!

Best Convertible Cars UK – Top 10

This article will run through the top ten best convertibles available right now. The options include a variety of styles, prices, and capabilities designed to demonstrate just how much possibility there is with these cars. Let’s get into it!

1. Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

Mercedes is one of the most consistent manufacturers of outstanding vehicles and the German manufacturer may have produced another classic in the making; the E-Class Cabriolet.

Even by Mercedes standards, this is a car of high quality; beautifully designed and contoured to make it extremely pleasing on the eye. But it is not just remarkable for its aesthetic qualities.

This car packs a punch too, delivering 241 horsepower and capable of going 0-60 mph in under 5 seconds. With prices for new models starting at £51,000, this model is one of the pricier options on the list. However, the outstanding design and power is hard to argue with.

2. MINI Convertible

MINI Convertible

At the other end of the price spectrum, MINI offers a totally different convertible experience. These cars cost up to £30,000 for new models, but a quick search should find you plenty of used models for considerably cheaper.

The MINI Convertible is among the best affordable convertible cars on the market right now. MINI’s trademark small shape makes it terrific at handling.

For motoring purists, the joy of a convertible is the connection drivers feel between the car and the road. When driving with the top down in the MINI Convertible, it should be clear why this car remains so popular among motorists.

3. BMW 4 Series Convertible

BMW 4 Series Convertible

Like the Mercedes, this convertible from BMW is a thing of beauty. It is sleek, contoured, and elegant from top to bottom. BMW’s focus with the 4 Series is clearly on luxury, with leather seats the focal point of a luscious interior.

It is also jam-packed with modern features, such as voice assistance, phone integration, and parking sensors. The car is on the pricier end of the spectrum, but for those looking to make a splash it is the perfect fit.

4. Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5

The MX-5 is one of a number of convertibles that has been around for a long time. It first appeared way back in 1989 and has been a stalwart of British roads ever since.

What it lacks in indulgence it more than makes up for in personality and affordability. Newer models are far cheaper than the biggest brands on the market, and second-hand Mazdas offer great value. In terms of value, it really is hard to go wrong with this car.

5. Audi TT Roadster

Audi TT Roadster

The Audi TT Roadster combines style and practicality that few convertibles can match. This convertible is stylish enough, with accented wheels and the classic Audi shape the high points. But the details are where this model becomes one of the best soft top cars.

The retractable roof muffles sound when it is up, reducing wind noise that is a common convertible pet peeve. Audi’s TT Roadster interior is stylish and simple, meaning drivers won’t sacrifice convenience when they take this out on the roads. 

6. Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

The Porsche 911 has a longstanding pedigree dating back to 1963, when it was first produced. Porsche boasts that little has changed since those days, save for a few minor tweaks and updates.

The Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet is certainly beautiful and remains one of the most distinctive cars around. It’s style makes it perfect for those who want to look good as they drive.

The engine packs a punch too, with twin turbos and an 8-speed transmission lending a racing feel to the 911 Carrera. It is a little pricier than some of its competitors, but it is not hard to see why so many people are still drawn to this classic convertible.

7. Lotus Elise

Lotus Elise

Thanks to its exciting design, the Lotus Elise is often ranked as one of the best convertible sports cars. One of the main features of the Lotus Elise is its ultra-lightweight design.

Thanks to its weight the Elise reaches 9-0-60 MPH in just 4.1 seconds. It also offers a top speed of 147 MPH which few convertibles can compete with.

The Lotus Elise is an adrenaline hit of a car, one that’s sole focus is on speed and energy. Of course, that does mean it is not the most practical car for everyday use.

There are few interior features and don’t expect to fit many passengers in with you. However, with used models trading for as little as £15,000, it is a real contender to be one of the best second hand convertible cars on the market. 

8. Jaguar F-Type Convertible

Jaguar F-Type Convertible

One of the most iconic car designers has come up with the goods again. The Jaguar F-Type Convertible will thrill many petrolheads with its blend of luxury and power.

A 5-litre engine ensures that it is never short of poke, but the details are what make this car special. The classic Jaguar grill looks sleek alongside accented wheels. Inside, there is a lovely, curved console that boasts a modern infotainment system and climate control.

The main drawback of this convertible is its price tag as it will cost you over £50,000 for a new model. Still, as far as the best convertibles cars go, the Jaguar ticks all the boxes.

9. Bentley Continental GT Convertible

Bentley Continental GT Convertible

Admittedly, this car is out of the price range of the average car owner. That does not mean, however, the Bentley Continental GT should be overlooked as one of the best convertibles around.

Retailing at an eye-watering £151,000, the Continental GT Convertible lives up to its billing with a sleek design and a host of intriguing features. In reality, there is little that separates the Continental GT from other leading competitors, such as Mercedes, BMW, and Jaguar.

Buyers should be aware that a large part of the price is attached to the exclusivity of the Bentley name.

10. Citroen DS3 Cabrio

Citroen DS3 Cabrio

For those with a more realistic budget, it might be worth looking at other manufacturers. The Citroen DS3 Cabrio blends the thrill of a cheap convertible with everyday convenience.

One of the larger convertibles on the market, the Citroen is big enough to fit the whole family in the back with room to spare. Granted, this car does not look like a classic convertible and some people might be put off by its chunky appearance.

For those looking for a convertible that can double as a family car, look no further than the Citroen.

Owning A Convertible With FairSquare

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Finding the best convertible to buy is often a matter of personal preference. Some might opt for a tried and tested model, while others might prefer something newer with all the latest technology.

Whatever you decide, we at FairSquare are here to help. Our mission is to simplify the process of buying a car, so don’t hesitate to head over to our help and advice section for more information.

We have a wide variety of cars to browse, each carefully chosen for their quality. All of our prices are competitive and come with finance packages to suit your budget. 

Thanks to our partnerships with many lenders, we can offer finance packages even if you have a bad credit rating. Within minutes you can be approved of car finance which allows you to focus on the important bit; finding the perfect next car!

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What Is A Crossover? Our Ultimate Guide To CUVs

What is a crossover? If you aren’t sure what this motoring term means then you are in the right place!

Welcome to the automotive industry’s murkiest term: crossover. Is it a car? Is it an SUV? Some people say both, some people say neither.

Today, we’re cutting through all the complicated jargon and explaining everything you need to know about crossover vehicles. We will explore what crossovers are, their pros and cons, and where to find them.

Want a quick rundown? Crossovers are a cross between a car and an SUV, taking several (mostly aesthetic) features of SUVs but built on a car platform, rather than a truck chassis.

What is a Crossover?

BMW X2

Simply put, crossovers are a cross between a car and an SUV. They’re also known as Crossover Utility Vehicles.

Rather unhelpfully, there’s no industry-wide definition for a crossover, but, in general, a crossover takes some traits from a passenger car, like driveability and mechanics. It also takes some features from SUVs, like the look – crossovers are larger than your typical car – and sometimes four-wheel drive too.

What’s the difference between a crossover and an SUV? Here’s the key: crossover vehicles are built in a single piece, also known as unibody construction, whilst SUVs have their frame and body joined.

What’s the key takeaway here? “Crossover” is more of a marketing term than anything else. Don’t assume what it means – pay close attention to each model’s specs to make sure you’re getting the right car for you.

The Benefits of Crossovers

crossover

  •  Interior Comfort: With a greater focus on comfort and everyday driving than SUVs, but boasting more seating capacity than regular cars, crossovers are a great option for your next family car.
  • Easy to Drive: Although crossovers might look more like SUVs, they drive just like regular cars, meaning you won’t need to learn a new set of mechanics when you get your new vehicle!
  • Fuel Economy: Since crossovers are built with unibody construction, they are far lighter than SUVs, which are built on a truck chassis. This means that crossovers have better fuel economy than SUVs.
  • Cost-Effective: Due to the way a crossover is manufactured, it’s far cheaper to buy than an SUV. Therefore, if you’re looking for a roomy vehicle for urban living, crossovers are a great shout!

The Negatives of Crossovers

crossover vehicles

  • Off-Road Capability: Remember that the key difference between an SUV and a crossover is that the former is built on a truck chassis and the latter is built on a car platform? Although this boasts savings and better fuel economy, it also means that crossovers are less rugged. Since they’re made with unibody construction, they’re not as sturdy so don’t do as well off-road. If you do enjoy off-road family trips but need an affordable car for everyday driving, consider a CUV with all-wheel drive. Most crossovers only have front-wheel drive!
  • Towing: For the same reason that crossovers aren’t suited to serious off-road driving, they’re also not as good at towing as SUVs. That said, you should check the specs. If you only need to tow a small campervan or boat occasionally, you could find a crossover that meets your needs!
  • Fuel Economy: Yes, crossovers are lighter than SUVs so have better fuel efficiency. But crossovers are also heavier than regular cars, meaning you’ll spend more on fuel with a CUV.

Is a Crossover Right For Me?

crossover or SUV?

Now we’ve discussed the pros and cons of crossovers, it’s time to decide whether a crossover vehicle is your next car. If you need a family car for driving around town, dropping kids off at football, and sharing lifts to school; a crossover car is ideal.

Spacey interiors, comfortable seating and car-like driving are all included in a crossover utility vehicle. There’s even enough room for the dog! However, if you need something more heavy-duty, you should opt for another vehicle, like a traditional SUV.

Crossovers might look like their sturdier counterparts, but they’re not made for serious off-roading or towing boats. To make up for this, crossovers have more safety features than SUVs, like material that’s designed to crumple to keep impact away from passengers.

Crossover Cars on the Market

crossover in the woods

There are plenty of crossover vehicles available from dozens of different car makers, because CUVs are so popular as family cars.

But what’s a good crossover vehicle if there are so many around? The Honda Pilot is one example – it is roomy but looks compact and has adaptive cruise control (ACC), making traffic jam stop-starting a breeze.

The Toyota RAV4 is also one to look into. It’s got plenty of cargo room for big family outings and an infotainment system with a touchscreen to keep everyone entertained.

Another CUV with decked-out entertainment options, the Ford Escape boasts numerous tech options, including an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

If you’re looking for crossovers that perform, look for CUVs with all-wheel drive. Think of something like the Mazda CX-5; a compact CUV with optional four-wheel drive.

Or, for ultimate smooth power, choose the Volkswagen Tiguan. The VW comes with with a 184-hp turbocharged four-cylinder, making for a fast but fuel-efficient ride. For true luxury, go for the BMW X2, a sub-compact luxury crossover that balances agility with space.

Lastly, you should consider other vehicles – not just crossovers and SUVs. For example, if you like the simplicity of driving a normal car but need more cargo space, consider adding a roof-top cargo carrier, over upgrading the size of your whole car.

Ready to Buy a Crossover?

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Now you know what a crossover car is, you’re one step closer to choosing your next car. Why not buy a CUV with FairSquare, the easiest online car dealership in the UK?

Just find a new or used crossover car on our site – we list thousands of vehicles and upload new posts daily. You can use our easy quote car finance calculator to see how much you can borrow in a matter of seconds.

Once you’ve found a deal that looks right, apply for finance. FairSquare will find the best deal for you, as we have relationships with dozens of independent lenders. Then just sit back and allow us to take care of the rest; we deliver your car to your door once it has undergone our final quality checks.

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What Is GAP Insurance? Our Guide To GAP Insurance

What is GAP insurance? Many people find themselves asking the same question. That’s why we decided to tackle the question head on and get some answers.

Buying a car is a big decision for many reasons. For one thing, it is a significant financial outlay to spend on something that is likely to depreciate in value the second you drive it off of the dealership’s forecourt. Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which people can counteract this.

The inherent risks of buying a car can be safeguarded against by securing a good insurance policy. However, most insurance providers only pay out for the car’s value at the time of the settlement, meaning you could stand to lose a large chunk of your initial investment.

For this reason, many places have begun to offer GAP insurance coverage. The aim of this is to shorten the gap between the price you paid for the car and the amount of money you receive from insurance.

This article will provide an introduction into this topic, as well as a number of things to consider before purchasing GAP insurance. We will also give you a few tips that should help you decide whether it is right for you.

What Is GAP Insurance In The UK?

what is GAP insurance

GAP insurance is not just a reference to the gap between the price you paid for the car and its value at the time of the claim. Technically, it is an acronym that stands for Guaranteed Asset Protection.

It serves as an addition to your existing car insurance but remember; it cannot entirely replace your main insurance. Drivers are still expected to take out a motor insurance policy to be eligible to drive, regardless of whether you opt for a GAP insurance policy or not.

Keep in mind that if your car is less than 12 months old, many insurers will cover the cost of a new car without GAP insurance. This is dependent on your specific policy, so make sure to read all the terms and conditions.

What Is GAP Insurance For?

damaged car

One of the unfortunate realities of buying a car is that you are likely to lose much of the money that you initially spend on it.

With new models coming out at a frenzied pace, state of the art cars can see significant reductions in value in a very short amount of time. In addition, the wear and tear associated with frequent driving can also cause depreciation.

That’s where GAP insurance comes in, insuring against discrepancies between what you paid for the car and what insurers pay in the event of a claim. There are a number of different GAP insurance policies that buyers can choose from.

A recent survey by Which? found that buying a GAP insurance policy directly from the dealership could be nearly £400 more expensive than with independent groups. For this reason, it is worth having a look at various options before you settle on a specific policy. A number of websites will provide a quote based on your purchase.

Keep in mind that there are a variety of different factors that dictate how much you can expect to pay. The way that you bought or financed a car could change the terms of your GAP insurance significantly.

Other factors such as age, mileage, and amount of excess coverage can also change the price of GAP insurance.

When Does GAP Insurance Become Relevant?

car accident

It is also worth remembering that your GAP insurance will only kick in once the insurer declares your car a total loss. Commonly, a car is written off in the event of theft, arson, or a serious accident.

Just like regular car insurance, most drivers will hope to never have to use their GAP insurance. However, if you are worried about losing out on the value of your new car, GAP insurance is an excellent way to get peace of mind. 

GAP insurance is one of those additional things that many drivers simply don’t know about. And who could blame you for not knowing? After all, it is a reasonable assumption that standard insurance will protect you for all eventualities. Sadly, this is often not the case.

Many insurers will only pay out meagre sums that are calculated at the time your car needs replacing. It’s almost impossible to receive your car’s true value in an insurance payout without GAP cover.

GAP insurance can be a handy way to protect yourself from any financial shortfalls that may arise from this. It is little wonder that it is becoming a popular extra for scores of people across Britain looking to safeguard their purchase.

Follow the advice given in this article, and you too could secure a better pay out in the event of an accident.

Find Out More At FairSquare

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Here at FairSquare, we pride ourselves on passing on all the most valuable pieces of information from the motoring world to our readers.

These days, changes to the way our roads work seem to happen almost constantly. Staying on top of all those changes can be tricky. Whether it is new regulations about emissions or the shift to hybrid and electric vehicles; our mission is to keep you up to date with everything you need to know.

For more articles like this one, be sure to check in with our blog page, which is regularly updated. But our work doesn’t stop at information.

At FairSquare, our vast selection of cars makes us one of the best places to look for your next car. FairSquare puts control over car finance back into your hands. Our search function allows customers to search for new and used cars that suit their specific needs.

From mileage to colour and finance type to number of doors, our website makes finding the right car easier than ever. Alongside this, all our cars come with flexible finance deals that can be adjusted; something you won’t find on many other high-profile car-buying websites.

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Four-Wheel Drive Cars: Everything You Need To Know

Are you looking to find out more about four-wheel drive vehicles? Then you have come to the right place!

A massive change has occurred in the style of car people are after. Whereas sedans, hatchbacks and smaller cars were the most common on British roads, another type of vehicle has muscled its way into the market over the last few decades.

Four-wheel drive cars, so named because they distribute torque to all of the wheels at the same time, are now among the most popular cars in the entire country. These 4x4s offer a wholly different experience to the front or rear-wheel drive vehicles that dominated the previous generation.

They are versatile, rugged, and rise to even the most extreme challenges that they encounter on the roads. Improved technology has even allowed for these cars to become more efficient, with major manufacturers now offering hybrid and electric four-wheel drive cars.

This article will give you all the important information there is to know about four-wheel drive vehicles. We will describe what four-wheel drives are, their benefits and disadvantages, and introduce you to the wide selection of four-wheel drive cars available with FairSquare.

What Is Four-Wheel Drive?

4x4

The basic explanation for how four-wheel drive cars work is that their engines distribute the power to all four wheels equally. 

In front or rear-wheel drive cars, all of the power is sent to one set of wheels. For example, if your car has a 120 horsepower engine, two wheels will receive 60 horsepower each, with the other two receiving none.

This can be quite dangerous and result in wheel spins and other less than desirable effects. It’s common for front-wheel drive cars to understeer, which makes it harder to get around tight corners at speed.

In four-wheel drives, the car would send 30 horsepower to each wheel, resulting in much more stability and a drastic reduction in the risk of wheelspins or oversteering.

Is Four-Wheel Drive Always On?

four wheel drive mode

One common misconception about these cars is that their four-wheel drive technology is always on. This is actually not the case.

In most circumstances, four-wheel drive engages when the car senses it needs to divert more power to a wheel. This might happen if the car gets stuck in a muddy patch or is trying to accelerate over an obstacle like a stone or a tree branch.

Some cars allow you to switch to four-wheel drive with just the flick of a button. This mode enables the feature to be active all the time, if you wish.

Using four-wheel drive all of the time is useful in slippery or icy conditions where imbalances between the amount of power sent to each wheel can drastically reduce control.

Main Benefit Of Driving A Four-Wheel Drive Vehicle

Driving off-road

There are, of course, a number of reasons that explain why four-wheel drive vehicles are so popular. Perhaps the biggest of these is safety.

In adverse weather conditions, a four-wheel drive vehicle distributes engine power equally. That even distribution of power allows the tyres to generate more grip and reduce the risk of skidding or losing control.

For those in more rural communities, four-wheel drive vehicles have been a revelation. They perform excellently in off-road environments and can navigate treacherous stretches of terrain.

In addition, four-wheel drive cars are extremely effective at towing heavy loads. This is largely thanks to their equal distribution of power and the amount of traction that this affords the car.

Are There Any Downsides To Four-Wheel Drive?

Driving through water

Four-wheel drive vehicles, while popular, have their pros and cons. They tend to be more expensive than their competitors, both in terms of upfront costs and maintenance.

Because 4-wheel drive technology makes them extremely heavy, they tend to consume a large amount of fuel. This also tends to make them less environmentally friendly, although advances in technology are quickly closing this gap.

In general, the disadvantages of four-wheel drive vehicles are small. You might find yourself paying a little more at the pump but, for the reliability and performance of these cars, it seems to be a relatively minor trade-off. It’s not uncommon for cars with optional 4-wheel drive capability to lose one MPG to their rating.

What Cars Are Available With Four-Wheel Drive?

BMW 1 Series

It is a common misconception that the only cars capable of using 4-wheel drive are the massive, hulking types you would expect to see navigating the wilderness. While it is true that the most famous four-wheel drive manufacturers (Land Rover, Jeep, etc.) are major players, you don’t always have to look to the largest cars. 

Nowadays, carmakers have cottoned on to the increased appetite for these versatile vehicles. The Suzuki Swift, for example, is a smaller, more understated take on the four-wheel drive car. At a modest price, and significantly smaller in size, the Swift is suitable for both urban driving as well as more challenging terrain.

For something a little more family orientated, look no further than the BMW 1 series. This car is classed as a compact hatchback, but it still offers the same punch as its larger competitors.

With used deals available from just over £10,000, you could land yourself one of the most stylish cars in this market for an extremely good price. 

Shopping For Four-Wheel Drive Vehicles With FairSquare

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If you are looking to get your hands on one of these versatile vehicles, head on over to our vehicle search page. Our wide selection of new and used cars come with a variety of finance packages, allowing you to finance the car of your dreams in a way that suits you.

If you want to learn more about the wide world of motoring, have a look at our blog and help pages. Here, you will find loads of informative articles like this one, which focus on everything you could ever want to know as a driver or simply a motoring enthusiast.

Four-wheel drive cars mark an impressive development in the capabilities of modern cars. They are adaptable and perform well even in adverse conditions. With the technology constantly improving, they could be a fixture on our roads for many years to come.

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We act as a credit broker not a lender. Fairsquare shall act independently in sourcing credit from our panel of funders.

As a credit intermediary, we maintain a panel of Lenders who are reputable and experienced in the motor finance industry and consumer credit sector and offer products and services to suit a variety of credit strengths.

FairSquare is committed to ensuring that applications for credit to finance your car are placed with the most appropriate funder for a transaction. As we act as a credit broker, we will receive a fixed commission for introducing you to a finance provider, any such amount a lender pays us will not affect the interest rate you pay under your finance agreement, all of which are set by the lender concerned.

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